Where a pile driver’s chant, fast as the twining rain, left a frangible coil of rope in the open docking floor, the nest of phoenixes and dung scarabs, where the many look through the chinks and knot-holes of the planks, even there did the rhythm of dreaming fords lay the long causeway, ending in the bridge to the pier. The bell in the fractal spire did not answer this, too late to measure the border of the tide of shadow to the brim awaiting depth. The breath of the beam beneath, soaked, sprinkled with saltwater, it answered this, and long before time.
The motherly rake turned up the atmosphere to the jagged and bristling underside, a concatenation with multiple architectures in antiquity, above the mountains higher than can be named; wreathed and came down, even to beneath, to the smell of goats in the morning, taken to the beam, the beams, the binding taken from the coil, freshened in the cameras’ looking. Broken over one monolithic handstave across the tendering mill: this was the breadth of the floor between every chink, in the venerable concatenation, and the voice which spoke:
“Prepare yourself, and pluck the flowers, and bring the tawny flower with the black mark, with what you will find.”
One prepared herself, the young Sardius Tosi, a girl of twelve, with red buttons on her shirt; she plucked the flowers, walking among the weeds, the willowherb, plantain, and tansy, finding and picking the flowers sought. She came to the tawny one, like a low earthen star, with the mark: she bent, and pulled it. Its tiny roots pulled out the earthen plug from a hole, the mouth of a hose, from which leaped a stream of blackish liquid.
She opened her mouth to scream in surprise, but instead of a cry coming out, the stream went directly in, point first and headlong, rushing down her throat, spreading and flowing over and covering her face with the liquid as it swirled into her; swirling over her eyes and she did not blink: she saw through the swarm of suspended grains; rather than splashing, the droplets stretched out and snapped back elastically. It was like clear oil, and full of dark crumbs and bits that were of some organic or animal origin. She could not straighten; staggered, but could not move her head, as though the liquid was running down her throat, up her nostrils, into her tear ducts, with endless running feet, pulling her down as it ran up inside her.
Then the other end came up out of the hole, leaving it dark and empty; at the sudden release she straightened and staggered again, the last of the liquid swinging and writhing like a semi-transparent eel or baby elephant’s trunk, vanishing into her face like a tremendous spaghetti noodle, into her mouth as into a drain, a thin upside-down whirlwind filled with meaningful detritus. Then it was all in her, and dragged her mouth shut with a click behind it. She pushed her hair back, thinking it would be wet, but it was not; she felt her face, and it was dry as paper.
The mystery had filled not only her belly but her veins, her skin, and her heart in her bosom. She put her hand to her bosom, and squeezed with her heart, deliberately pumping with her heart, driving the visitant liquid throughout the thinnest reaches of her form. In her other hand she held the flowers, and the flower. She returned in her preparation and brought all to the brokenness, the breadth of the tendering mill between every chink, in the venerable colossal chain, the voice.
“When the time comes to plant it, my Sar-Sar, and water it with your tears, find its name “Andreas”, which will bear the vital seeds in the due withering time.”