Saturday
May142011

[this town]

J.A. Tyler




Author's Note: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ is wreckage. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ takes place as five distinct works, all built around the same core story. Each narrative is that of a girl who holds the last water in the world, a herd of chaos that takes it from her, and the boy who comes to resuscitate it all. But each story takes this kernel and shreds it in a new direction, incorporates other elements, reshapes the narrative in its own image. And each press that came aboard this project, releasing this wreckage into readers’ hands, worked on the same principle of core unity with distinct press-specific alterations. All that is left is the beautiful static hum: zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Thanks to the following publishers and their editors, where you can gather all of ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ [a well]: Greying Ghost (Carl Annarummo)
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ [the stars]: Warm Milk Printing Press (Ben Spivey)
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ [this town]: The Collagist (Matt Bell)
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ [an island]: NewLights Press (Aaron Cohick)

 

[this town]

Boy in his house was Boy smashed up against window glass was Boy looking toward the outside was Boy feeling the snow come down in his bones was Boy listening to piano in the back of his eyes was Boy clenching and unclenching fists on the slip of toy dinosaurs and toy cars and toy action figures and toy planes and Boy mock eating toy food and Boy playing on a rug and Boy slipping on skated ice and Boy building a man of snow in the yard behind his house before the bombs like snowflakes sifted down onto their charred-black heads.

Before Boy was father and mother and sister and Boy was a suburban neighborhood. Boy was leaves on trees Boy was blankets in cribs Boy was gravel in driveways Boy was haircuts Boy was tooth-brushing Boy was hands at work Boy was money in wallets Boy was vacuums running Boy was dusting with rags and solvent and the smell of cleaning and solutions.

Father whistling holidays mother humming turkeys sister kicking a soccer ball kicking rocks to ditches kicking the dust off her shoes ribbons from her hair brother hugs from her shoulders.

This new World birthday fallen, crested waves of black Ocean of black River of black Moon of black Sun.

The Land now a hum and the hum going:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Mountains instead of snow white covers are blackened catfish skin curled whiskers burned off. Land is a fire. Land is on fire. Land burns with fire. Land screams:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

River painted on the Mountain's side, River going down River flowing River then stuck tar thick not dripping not dropping not moving River going solid Land going burned Land smoking Mountain opening up and spitting fire and spitting flames and one by one the People swallowed and Ocean a tar pit and Ocean a soft pillow of black brown red and Sky uncovered darknesses and Clouds of ashen People and rain never coming and water never coming and water gone and Land unclaimed except for the staked herds traveling.

People in herds searching.

Land was houses is now burned Land was charm is now lost Land was People all scrambling straddling jobs cars trains planes now planes come overhead now planes scream and screech now planes are lovers fucking the ever-living shit out of the Sky.

Sky was bruised now is scarred tissue and begging. Clouds are People, People floating People mulched People churned turned boiled burning. Land is Ocean is River is Mountain is Sky is Clouds are. Moon is Sun is. Stars are.

Boy found his legs down into a Well Bombs dropped on Land Stars ripped from the Sky Stars placed on the table Stars opened for feast Stars put in the Well with Boy with the darkness with the black with the no water no houses no family no sister mother father green lawn purchased kite strung up lights and holiday murmuring songs.

Boy is nothing happening. Boy is words that when he speaks them they come out in spurted tangled un-lithe scatter:

zzzzzzzzzzzzz

People herd and crush. People move. People graze. People searching out food. People searching out water.

People fathered around downed electrical poles, People babble:

zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Boy standing in his kitchen watching father mother sister burn. Boy standing in his kitchen pretending his shoes still exist. Boy stretching reaching combing through rubble looking for the shiny. Boy searching out objects. Boy looking for something to catch his eye something to take him out of a black World something to bring him home again to a father mother sister not smoking not tortured out of their skins not peeling curving open and the smiles the only white left, teeth only not-blistered, languid bone grins.

Boy street Boy houses Boy yards Boy leaves Boy sticks Boy treehouses Boy tea parties boy playgrounds Boy nursery Boy jungle gym Boy games Boy tag Boy freeze Boy playing dead Boy having a catch Boy Boy Boy.

Boy says to Land:

LEAD ME ON

And Land it says:

NO.

Boy stands.

ON.

NO.

ON.

NO.

Boy stands Boy goes Boy walks Boy runs Boy runs to nowhere Boy runs from dead tree to dead tree to dead tree, from point to point to point Boy eyes leading Boy to creamy white light bounding off shiny objects. Boy goes from object to object. Boy goes from treasure to treasure. Boy picks up the World a bit at a time and puts it in his pockets and keeps it rubbing his thigh when he walks from dead tree to dead tree from point to point to point from shiny object to next shiny object to put in his pocket to take with him to re-piece the World back to the World Boy knows knew used to be in used to live in used to understand.

Boy does not understand.

Boy inventing the World.

Boy inventing the Land.

Boy inventing the Ocean the Sky the Clouds the Moon the Sun the Mountain the River the Stars the Well.

Boy down in a Well, discovering loss.

Drop deep Boy, down the Well Boy, in the dark Boy, in the cold Boy, when the World above goes ninety one hundred one fifty.

Boy dreading the above the surface the top the colder colder colder.

Boy bent over the World. Boy buried underneath the World. Boy simmering.

Who was Boy who was house Boy who was car Boy who was carved out of suburban neighborhood Boy who was mothered Boy who was fathered Boy who was sistered Boy who was Boy going to school Boy going to gas station for candy Boy going to skateboards Boy going to basketball hoops Boy going to all the lights rising over morning down to night Boy flinging off cliff diving water Boy over rocks Boy sweltering down in the Well with the heat above, the dust Land, the cooking baking.

Black Sun, black Moon.

Red tan brown Ocean. Poison River.

Boy not drinking. Herds not drinking. Drink this water and the words will come out:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Boy alone wandering wondering wondrous whetted wanton worldly wowed whisked off whispered at wounded by Land wounded by Ocean wounded by the River running raging ruining down the pant legs down the bare feet down the arms down the drain Boy spillage sewage soaking dirt dryness.

Land musk, scented dirt muddied in tangleweeds and no water.

Oil slick. Oil eyes. Oil painted from the Clouds from the Sky from the Moon from the Sun from the bird wings their gasoline lungs their flying above near the planes near the jets near the bombers near the Stars and then bursting exploding expanding until the feathers float down past Boy eyes watching the World a World like this the World that is that World implode.

Boy before the World on fire. Boy before the World in devastation. Boy before Boy before Boy before.

And the Land it says to the Mountains WHAT WAS BEFORE and the Mountains shrug their shoulders, an earthquake, and rocks tumble down to the Ocean.

THERE IS NO TIME FOR THIS.

The Sky looks to the Clouds and the Clouds they look to the Sky and neither looking to the Stars.

Boy looks to the Stars and sees the outline of his mother. Boy looks to the stars and sees his mother like reaching out hands to him like reaching out hands to hold him like reaching out hands to grasp his sides his ribs his torso his body and pull him lift him carry him to her shoulder to hide his face in her neck made of Stars.

The noise that machine guns make:

dt dt dt dt dt dt dt dt dt dt dt dt dt dt dt dt

The sound of birds their wings and exploding gasoline lungs:

bbbbbccchhhhklkkkllklkl

Land Ocean River Clouds Sky Moon Sun Mountain Stars singing:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Streets dead-end at the ruptured let out guts of houses in suburbia where little babies used to crawl sputter spit eat shit paste their little baby fingers along nursery walls.

Land dried to whale-bone textures. Ocean black tan red. River thickened hardened run out of the liquid it was. Sky crying the tears are rocks and the rocks fall hard and the rain of stones shatters what windows remain breaks what bones exist mimics the Land in its heartless shudders.

Doors in houses open with wind and not People. The only People who remain are the People in herds as caribou running over Land they trace track trounce chewing grass sputtering out words and the constant solemn ash of:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Girl does not herd. Girl does not run does not walk. Girl hides. Girl is a rat in a hole Girl is a rat in a sewer Girl is a rat in a laboratory Girl is a rat in a trap Girl is tail snagged Girl is teeth gnawing Girl is a country wiped from the map Girl wiped from the map the map wiped from the map the Land all that is left and the Land on fire and the Land in smoke and the Land going ninety one hundred one fifty as the black Sun it raises to the Sky.

Rain never coming and Girl she as the last of the water. Girl is water. Girl is the only water left. Girl is the remaining water. Girl is the final water. Girl is the possible water the water that the People in their herds they want to drink they want to consume they want to pass down their throats to their bellies where water has ceased to be possible.

Before it was Girl living in a home living with mother living with father living with sister living with sister living with her own ribbons in her own hair and no holes in the ceiling where the stark white for days it came in until then it went dark and the batteries gone dead and the bodies burning like candles down hallways like torches on street corners like pillars to mark out the point to point to point.

Girl says to the Sky when she looks up into its black:

I DON'T WANT THIS WATER

And Sky it says nothing back.

Girl makes a face that is a fish rubbing fins in water:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Girl makes eyes that are under seas. Girl makes sounds that are waterfalls. Girl washes her hands in the water that sheds from her body the only water left all the water in the World this Girl waltzing in slippery liquid shoes and gaping open rivers.

I DON'T WANT THIS WATER are the words Girl repeats and the Sky the nothingness just what it gave back gives back screams into her wet canals.

OPEN YOUR MOUTH LARGE MOUTH BASS, GIRL, AND THIS WILL ALL HAVE AN END but Girl she hears nothing because her Girl ears are busy untying spider webs of thoughts where there was a mother and a father and a sister and a sister. One sister a black Moon. One sister a black Sun. A father in Mountain, Land. A mother in Ocean River Stars Sky Clouds.

There is a Well in the ground and Girl she goes nowhere near it. Well is where water is kept. Well is where water of Girl it could be hauled up on a rope and held down below the surface and suffocated out of all its words, all its:

zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Girl fish Girl river Girl ocean Girl rocks.

Girl picks up rocks.

Girl picks up rocks and puts them in her pockets and when the Sky it rains stones instead of water she tries to throw the rocks in her pockets back up at the Sky, like answering a phone call that comes in the air now instead of on a machine, like a version of a letter or a message or an instant communication, though all People now are herded together save for maybe one Girl and maybe one Boy and the Well it is swallowing them just as fast as the Stars, the Mountain slipping them down its sides the River poisoning their mouths the Ocean stagnant thick soup gone solid the Sky the Clouds propelling dust into their face dust into their mouths dust into their ears while they shout and the words all bundle together into:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Girl wants Stars to open up and eat her consume her break her take her make her something other than what she is which is living to make her dead to make her gone to make her out to make her disappear and turn into Stars herself so that the Girl that is this Girl looking up at the Stars in the night would be instead looking up at pieces of herself, Girl in Stars.

Girl instead curls to a ball. Girl instead flexes into a fist. Girl instead Girl instead.

NO OH NO, NO NO. NO. ON. OH ON. NO OH NO, ON ON ON. NO. NO NO NO. OH NO. NO NO NO.

ON.

The first illusion is that there is This Town and This Town it is scattered with water and the water is attached to a million Girls and the Girls all run jump splash in water and cry water and sweat water and drink water and the World is beautiful again.

The first illusion is that a Girl if taken apart into her pieces will be water then and nothing else and that will be will be will be that.

The first illusion is that when the Sky opens up again instead of rocks falling to the World it will be rainbow fragments coated in water and soaking the ground in rain.

There is no rain. There is a Girl sunken into dust and hiding. There is a Boy. There are People in herds herding together and sinking into each other as they smell the air for the scent of water, of Girl, and go about seeking. Herd running herd cowering herd going herd cuddled together as People in night as People in day and herd smelling out the final place of her.

Sky says to Clouds OPEN UP and Clouds say to Sky OPEN UP and there is the stalemate.

Land says to Mountain GO HOME and Mountain it says I AM HOME and Land has nothing more to say.

River says to Ocean RUN and Ocean it does and the response is in the water that is not water anymore, in the water that is unattainable, the water that is concrete slabs bricks and mortar walled up in brown black red.

Stars to deep down a Well says nothing.

Well in return, the constant pretend drip:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Girl sleeps and dreams of This Town that is an illusion never reached. Girl dreams and sleeps of This Town never existent existing made makeable modern mobile masked mouthed moored moveable marked mounted matured milked modeled meant.

The illusion is this:

Land says PICK A CARD, ANY CARD and the World picks a card and then the Land it smashes open on the tops of the Mountains and blackens the Ocean and stops the River's movement and pushes the Clouds to ash and Closes up the Sky and shatters the Sun and crushes the Moon and makes of the Stars the only thing left for the World to dream on.

THIS HAS BEEN THE TRICK the Land says or will say when everything is black and dusty and the wind is hot and the World is going ninety one hundred one fifty.

ADJUST, REACT. MOMENTUM from the Stars saying as they float.

Answer back it is a mumbled expressionless maw:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

The trick is to pick a horse that will be the horse that goes to the finish line first. The trick is to eat enough to stay alive but not enough that there is bloat or sag, enough to stay beautiful and lithe. The trick is to fold the paper and the message within enough times to make it disappear and then to swallow it down and keep it in the belly until the body either bursts into flames or elevates into the Sky and is rendered rectified recognized reconstituted reformed reshaped re-upped recounted recast re-carved re-cut in the shape of something normal again.

PICK A CARD is what the Girl she says to the water in her body.

I DON'T WANT THE WATER IN THIS BODY Girl says but knows she does.

I WANT THIS WATER Girl says and that is more for her the truth.

I DON'T WANT THIS WATER is an illusion.

The trick is to believe in the tricks that work.

The trick is to make the illusion something that People will believe in.

The trick is to make the Sky and the Clouds and the Sun and the Moon and the Mountain and the Land and the Ocean and the River and the Stars all part of the illusion. Then the World, it must believe.

TAKE ME IN says Girl holding open the water on her palm and coating herself in dirt. TAKE ME IN says Girl and then runs from dead tree point to dead tree point to dead tree point her pigtails ponytail ringlets curling bouncing slick and heavy on her Girl shoulders.

The World takes her in by wrapping its tangleweeds around her legs, tipping her up, and dripping the water from her:

DRIP DRIP DROP    DROP                                     DROP DRIPDRIPDRIP

The Land takes her in by ripping open her skirt and drowning Girl in her own wake.

The Ocean the River they are jealous. The Ocean the River they are undone by Girl and Girl's water and all the liquid eyes that Girl she looks through and down upon them with.

Mountain remembers snow, when its skin was caked white, drawn in silence, calmed by gentle chilling wind. Mountain remembers pine needles and trees.

World in remembrance sings a song:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

The first illusion is the first illusion.

Land remembers lines and fences drawn on its skin. The Clouds remember bursting with rain. The Stars they remember the People looking up looking to the Sky looking through the Clouds to the Stars to its body to its bright and laying on its head the lift of the World. The River remembers running. The Ocean its waves. The Sun the rise the Moon the sink the Well a bottomless black abyss of liquid finally settled.

DO NOT BE FOOLED.

And People who are not fooled they don't drink the River water because they know that the River water it will only make them sick. They watched other People in their People herd drink that River water and that River water what it did was take their lips and turn them blue and take their eyes and roll them back and take their hands and make them shrivel into dazzling sick nodes of undoing and undone. And People too they know the same of Ocean water not to drink Ocean water even if the herd manages to stalk over the Mountain and past the Land and arrive to a place that used to be shoreline that used to be pebbles that used to be beautiful and see what was Ocean and is now black what was once Ocean and is now solid what was once Ocean and is now nothing.

The herds look for grass. The herds eat grass. The herds shit grass and the grass goes back to the ground but this World it doesn't rain so this World it doesn't churn so this World it doesn't make more grass so the herds of People they are left with only the option to move on or to go hungry.

And the herds of People, as it is, they move on.

THIS AN ILLUSION says the first illusion, the only that started all of these mind-tricks. The illusion that was the illusion to make all other illusions.

Herds in movement. Herds searching.

Find a Girl and Girl's water and then exist for another black Sun, black Moon.

ONWARD says the Land as the herds they move about.

This World with a flapping door a gutted window a burnt out neighborhood. This World stained in gum trees and siren flares and solo cello noises cranking out under all that is heat:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Boy is not a herd is not with a herd is not herded is not kept is not contained is not housed. Boy house it was on a street and Boy house it was near a sidewalk and Boy house it was where mother father brother sister ate toast and drank orange juice and flew kites made of string and balsa wood and tissue thin paper.

Boy in knotted walking waterless walking, walking on because Boy he knows no other way than to walk on walk on, on and go walking.

To tree dead Boy goes.

Shiny object ground Boy bends Boy picks up a hairpin a toy soldier's arm a rock made of maybe quartz. Boy puts objects in his pockets feelings in his pockets thoughts in his pockets. Boy's pockets are bulging. Boy is bulging. Boy's head is bulging because Boy like People in their herd he doesn't have water. But Boy is thick and his skull is soft and he walks walks without feeling or thoughts all of those taken out and put in his pockets so that they jangle when his feet move, sounding a shuffle tight in dirt and rocks and dead trees, point to pooint:

zzzzzzzzzzzzz

The illusion is that Boy has seen This Town that the herds they are looking for that the Girl she is looking for and the rumor is the trick is the handcuffs behind the back are that Boy he is This Town that they are all looking for searching  for trying to dying to find like Girl and her water like Girl and her River like Girl and the water that falls through her body as she sleeps under Stars.

This Town that shivers and creaks under the old boards. This Town that has saloon doors. This Town that is the saloon where no one loves you where no one is pretty where no one lifts off of the ground in a kiss from cheek to cheek lip to lip body to body This Town where the World is dust and sad and lonely.

Illusion.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

This Town an illusion. The herd would not go to This Town if that were the town: dust sad board ridden snagged lonely. People wouldn't be looking, under rocks behind dead trees in the mouths of still and unbreathing bodies.

Lift up the dirt floor. Look across this the Land. Eyes peeling back.

NO.

NO NO NO NO NO NONONONONONONONONO.

ON Boy says. ON Boy goes. ON Boy is.

Boy who is This Town. Boy who is This Town. Boy who is This Town.

This Town they are seeking Girl or People or herds crashing into one another on the road that used to be a road that is no longer a road that is now just the cut between dead bodies between unmoving bodies between cautions and tales and the spinning yarn of could have been could have been could have been.

Boy's neighborhood bombed out. Boy's family. Boy's father mother brother sister. Boy possessed by This Town now. Found it at the base of a Mountain. Found on the Land where no else looked. Found it on an single rock in the Ocean walking far out and then never back. Boy found This Town and the streets were unchanged and the roofs were still covering rooms and the railing they did not have People in herds running over them, lemmings to stains below.

This Town with red barn at its center. Boy opens the door Boy swings open the door Boy breaches the door Boy reaches the door Boy catches the door on its hinges and flips it back pulls it back draws it back flies it back gasoline birds in exploding formation above his Boy head and there is hay there is wooden floor there are no windows there is no graveled rain there is no black Sun there is no black Moon there is no rasping wind ninety one hundred one fifty there is stillness and gathered comfortable darkness and red barn then is house is home is hold-up in This Town where Boy he finds himself not at all searching or looking out but putting the World in his pockets one step by one step and not over his shoulders worrying about the noise:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Red barn and Sky above but no planes and no chemical droppage and the craters around covered in tangleweed mists and Boy sitting in the middle of red barn in the middle of red barn's coated dust floor in the center of red barn's very unclaimed heart and closed canvas of his eyes and dreaming.

Boy dreams sleep.

Boy sleeps dreaming.

Boy:

zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Boy dreams an illusion that he has found a Well and in the Well when he climbs down in the Well there is snow and he makes angels and he builds men and the World goes back to cold and there is no heat and the Boy he lies to himself and tells himself that this is what he wants saying to himself in the frost breath and the dainty aired snow falling;

THIS IS WHAT I WANT.

This is landscape. Land. The illusion of Boy.

Boy dreams an illusion that he alone can see the Stars that he is the one who found the Stars that he is the owner of the Stars and that he took them from the Sky and chiseled them down into his pockets and walked about the Land spreading the word of Stars, planting deep their Star seeds, making up the noise of a Star song from his Star fragments, the pockets weighed down in seed:

zzzzzzzzzzzzz

This is Ocean Sky Clouds Land Mountain Sun Moon River:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Illusion. Landscape. Boy

And Boy he dreams of a place they call the coma dorms where everyone is sleeping and everyone is dreaming and the Sky is a knitted brow of ribbons from head to head to head. People not in herds but in sleep. People not in search but in finding, all of their wants appearing in their minds and the small parts of their fingers curved twitching moving as dainty as their dreams when made in a coma dorm where everything is possible.

Boy is not in a coma dorm.

THIS IS NOT A COMA DORM Boy he says to the Sky and the Sky is not today in the mood for talking back to a single Boy away from a herd and already found in this red barn in this heart in This Town:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

THIS IS A RED BARN THIS IS A RED BARN THIS IS A RED BARN.

Girl not in a red barn Girl not in the Stars Girl not in the Sky not in the Clouds not in the Sun not in the Moon.

Girl not in This Town.

On Land is this Girl, the Girl with the water, the Girl where looking into her eyes is a waterfall, the Girl where looking into her mouth is a sea, the Girl where opening her up is drinking forever.

People herds and Girl and Land and there is this tumult.

Girl standing where there are no dead trees. Girl between dead trees. Girl from point to point caught between point to point People and in their herds point to point spread to capture Girl and water and both in the same net the same pitfall the same line of People in a herd between points screaming:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

RETURN TO NATURE is what Mountain says to Ocean. RETURN TO NATURE is what Land says to Sky. RETURN TO NATURE is what Clouds say to River.

Girl screams:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Stars in the Sky in the Clouds above the ashen People groaning in herds. No rain falls, no water except Girl's water flooding the Land and People awash in it, scooping it in their herd hands, splashing it with their herd feet. Hooves trampling, Girl splayed and thronging in People herds.

MAKE NO NOISE says Ocean to Land. SCREAM says Stars to Moon. BEG says Sun to the Mountain to the Land to the Clouds to the Boy in This Town shrouded in dust and floorboards and red barn walls.

Girl down in a Well. Girl looked down on by Stars. Girl ripped torn shorn busted broke broken breakage wreckage worked wavered waived wasted wounded worn-out worked warped wanted welling welded welting whipped.

Girl before was hair ribbons and sister sister sister and father and mother and Girl before was house and home and Girl before was liquid because she was and was because she was flows of water and now jutting open, split rocks, un-sutured expanse. Girl wide wide.

Water.

Ocean undrinkable, River. Sun, Moon, Stars. The water in this Land gone, whispered only in the search, the People, the herd:

zzzzzzzzzzzzz

SACRIFICE is what Girl hears from somewhere in the air, not knowing if it was Land Mountain Ocean River Stars, Sun Moon Clouds Sky.

Down deep in a Well. Cut open on Land. Black Sun, black Moon.

Girl whimpers:

hrrrrnnnmmmmmrnrhrhrrrnnrmmrnrhrhrhhrnnrnn

Girl screeches:

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Breach birth water Girl:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Gone gone water from Girl:

zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Land is burned Land is charred Land is melted down to its layers, all the colors open and the colors all brown grey black red. Tangleweeds growing grey-green but coated in thick exercised dust, dirt, waterless trembles. Bloom blood flowers bloom unpickable fruit bloom fingers and toes and bodies stacked log cabin bodies under Sky bodies mounting Mountain bodies.

This is no illusion here. Land is no illusion here.

Girl ripped torn busted broke. Girl drained.

SWIRL the Clouds say, the Sky sighs scratched and gruff, the Mountain looking away.

Girl's water dissipated.

IS THAT THIS CLEAR the Land says to the Sun, the Moon. They do not respond.

People in swerving herds People in traveling herds People in a herd surrounding Girl then cleaning Girl of her water then People in herds going away and leaving behind them the skin of Girl the fists of Girl uncurled the shreds of Girl and her hair and on ribbons the old ribbons the torn ribbons the ribbons that Girl was when Girl was still a home when Girl was still a house when Girl was still a family when Girl was still held together.

Ocean to River, Sky to Stars:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Girl to herself if she was which she wasn't still listening:

zzzzzzzzzzzzz

But Boy in red barn Boy on floor Boy in dust feels the water going from a place he has never been from a place outside of This Town and Boy he goes because he feels compelled because Boy he is thick but Boy he is strong in the way his gut it feels how his feet they should move and before Boy can think which is slow and surely Boy is already moving already outside of red barn already outside of This Town outside of the heart that was safe and warm and Boy he is already with Girl slung blacked out over his shoulder and walking backwards against his former feet and swinging his knees the way of This Town where the Stars power Land and the electric buzz of the World is somewhat drowned away:

zzzzzzzzzzzzz

To the heart to the center to where red barn it stands and is still and is dust covered and is lovely in nearly silent fortress-shape. Girl in Boy's hands. Girl in Boy's arms. Girl in Boy's not dreaming but awake, the forever dawn of taking wrung out Girl to red barn to the organ center of This Town to bring her back to life to living to waking to wake-full breathing to breath to holding her own head up on her own neck even though the water beneath her inside of her it is spilled out and taken and tipped down the hungry herd throat. Even though and Girl her eyes warming to Boy. Boy his chest limp liquid fee.

A rhythm and then a vacuum sound of silence and time and shedding:

zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Land Ocean River. RETURN says Sky to Clouds but they are already there, with their ashen eyes and their grey Cloud-making shadows. AWAKE Boy says to Girl and she does, Girl eyes blinking Girl hands moving Girl back stretching out Girl face open closed Girl arms up over out back the paws of a cat when cats used to be when birds weren't gasoline lunged and skyward exploding. Boy watching Girl. Girl looking back.

Stars, Sun and Moon.

Blackness:

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

But Boy, but Girl, drenching red barn in This Town where the World it seems stilled and without herds ranking up and through, the quiet mostly a hum and the Stars out and the Land Ocean River, the Clouds overhead the Sky, Sun Moon Mountain.

There is no Well here.

The illusion is a red barn is a center is a static finding its way home is a Girl is a Boy is a figure named This Town that holds the legs up and doesn't fall.

PICK A CARD, ANY CARD says the World, and this is an illusion.

BUT GIRL, says Boy I KNOW.

And before where there were only tangleweeds are now hills, emerging on a pretend horizon, making shapes. The cut-out of new Worlds starting, the still quiet darkness of red barn This Town Boy and Girl.

Boy puts the worries in his pockets. Boy puts his thick head in his pocket. Boy puts in his pocket the belief of Girl in the goodness of Land and Ocean and River and restoration.

BRING IT BACK Land says and everything will or could, with the hills blooming on the sides of This Town, of this Boy Girl, of this hymnal humming, of this:

zzzzzzzzzzzzz