The eyes turned upwards, weeping whiteness, the tissues torn by drifting smoke; he lies unable to tell whether or not the tactic turned his understanding (his understanding lies out of sight in some crevice of the rock beneath his head, supporting caverns deep below the grass on which he sprawls, still). He sees something through the eyes of others, sees a sort of subtlety made blatant in sly contortions, spreadeagled by convention and the long slow suckings of necessity. His fever's abated now, made imagination, made to flow out of his veins, drowned in cold water, drowned by physic... If they show mercy, assume it's from necessity; it's always from necessity. Look. His shivering taken as assent, he's grown again, freshly woven, made brilliant, diamond, pearl, ruby, made unmeeting to infinity in overpowering paradox. The only help that he accepted left him fire's protection; fire's useless when he's burnt by deep shaking, his landscape scarred by fissures belching magma - his body's still, but only in the way it lies. They need this field for other bodies, carry off his carcase for the crows, and for the compost-heap. They didn't intend safety for him. They intended nothing for him. You could say he was lucky.
( to the contents page.)