You put a bag around your head and walked into the river. You walked into the river with a bag around your head and you were never dead game on the banks of your mental styx for the double audience of smoke— — You pressed a coin into his palm and stepped across the water. You stepped across the water with a hand on his arm and he was silent and kind as you shoved off, toward the smoky coils of the greek-seeming dead— You’d been trying to sleep. Found yourself here in the mythocryptic land— The river — had widened to a lake. You were anchored in the shallow boat by his faceless weight— And on the green shore you could see their vapored residue, how they could smell it, those two―if you slit your wrist you could make them speak. If you — slit your wrist you might be able to sleep. Grief. Grief. Handing you back your coin.
You don't have to break it. Just give it a little tap. tap tap. See, there's the crack. And if you pry it a little with the flat end of that spoon, you'll be able to slip yourself through. — To the woods where you're walking. Crushed ice above you like a layer of sky— Some sun under it making it gleam. Some snow under it bloodless and bright in the fissured heart, the winter morgue of its imagined land. — Where you can find her— Sprawled, face down, in the snow— Bracing herself up, a puff of ice at her chin, then seizing and dying all over again— Automaton. You prop her up. And it’s like shaking a doll, How dare it, How dare it— What — good is she for, there in her dying machine? You push her shoulders back against the trunk of the tree, her chest’s so cold it cracks— so you can slip yourself through. To the woods she's been walking, wondering where the living have gone.