Spendthrift stars cross endless sky. They search for nothing, find nothing, even as they¶re tracked and measured, photographed and analyzed; specks of light in crests of darkness above troughs of darkness; impulses animated by energy bound in self-consuming shadow-play, they flicker in the spaces between worlds. Here, in this light-edged landscape, ghosts of gods float on leathery wings among scattered rays: tamer of beasts and queer shaman, gowned goddess, she with no cloak over her shoulder. Claw-footed Lilith²Erishkigal² Inanna²Enkidu²Gilgamesh drift among galla-creatures, enkum-creatures, lahama monsters, sound-piercing kugalgal, giant uru and terrible enunun. All those who marched from the dark, glide into our world and then sail on and out into an emptiness beyond our stars: demons riding a cosmic wind. Now night clears. The great backdrop

of heaven folds suddenly into itself. The sky¶s blue hides black depths. A curtain of light falls, refracted in dusty air. All your horrors fade to daylight streaked against a brand new horizon. Wind comes up. Clouds crest like galleons in a great armada ranged against blood-drenched sun. No one will win. Dawn will turn mundane. Workers will clock-in. Timely trains will trundle into fresh-swept stations, debouch their drones and back away. Come evening a fresh assault will start on suburban bedrooms battalioned by frail, old men who lift their weapons to defend themselves from the brazen dragon who lives on life, dies and lives again. Master of this flux or acolyte, your choice is cyclical: kill or die. In the ocean of the sky, seen or unseen, Jupiter¶s moons still orbit and reckless stars get and spend their borrowed silver.

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