Now I feed faith to faith, suffer human noise, complain about this or that heartache. The dream, then: to eruptinto a sturdier form, like a wild lotus bursting into its tantrum of blades. It is vulnerable only to silenceand forgetting. Plants reinvent sugar daily and hardly anyone applauds. There has always been a swarm of hungry ghosts orbiting my body—even now, I can feel them plotting in their luminous diamonds of fog, each eying a rib or a thighbone. I love my body more than other bodies. They are arranging their plans like worms preparing to rise through the soil. Each syllable was perfect, but only the lonely rumble in my head gave praise. When I sleep next to a man, he becomes an extension of my own brilliance. What use is knowing anything if no one is around to watch you know it? Or rather, he becomesan echo of my own anticlimax. I was delivered from dying like a gift card sent in lieu of a poundof flesh. They are ready to die with their kind, dry and stiff above the wet earth. This is why we put mirrors in birdcages, why we turn on lamps to double our shadows. Once as a boy I sat in a corner covering my ears, singing Quranic verse after Quranic verse. The spirit lives in between the parts of a name. My escape was mundane, voidable. Audio: Read by the author. I am vulnerable to hammers, fire, and any number of poisons.