“Are all the bases covered?” The war room of his mind says it all: the charts, red pencils & coffee cups that litter the table are stolid witnesses of that night when her body, swathed in silk & briefly enfolded in his arms, suddenly turned invisible. He doesn’t exactly know how it happened, this magical journey when she became one with air or light, the sweetness of her hair still lingering in his hair, but somehow he has an idea of how/why it happened: the charts, red pencils & coffee cups had told him earlier that always the future is beyond calling, though they can map her passage, draw her face, & drink her languor. Perhaps, it is just as well—she was way beyond his text that vainly tried to reconstruct her cruel habit of disappearances, beyond the spell that would freeze her name. A consolation that would suffice, anyway: so he may probably, in this age of revolution & reaction, exult her absence, & dream that that star, long dead, but flickering through the years, has enabled him this savagery of knowing: he must be thankful for it [“Earth, Earth, do you read?”] because it has driven him to rage, to live.

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