Every third word in school dealt with this or that remorseless generation. Tommy’s name was called but he played dumb and was wheeled off for reeducation. The children polished guns as we shaved the elders, helped ourselves to seconds, guzzled down sherry under the leveled sky. Rewards for nimble fingers. The elders were once hunters: their breath was hot. They took off their hats to reveal their skulls and took off their skulls to reveal spines luminous and thick. The substance which coated their bones was more ethereal than liquid, but thicker than water They were clumsy miscreants shivering in the folds of the earth and we were salivating for a chance to uncover their wares, bury the misbegotten with pulled teeth and rotten nails, skin flaked from the lids. They were felons and we were passing off their accidents as aspirations. Louder! They yelled at us. Play louder! Round up the wolves with your muffled drums! When the pelts were finally counted, one was always missing: a kill roasted in haste. First we retrieved the child from its stomach before it was stitched up with violin string. We killed only when there was holding room: that was the first mistake. The second was overeagerness. Whoever had a stick didn’t need to use his hand. Whoever used his hand had no need for a stick. We welcomed the hunt with unheard of recitations. We could repatriate the bodies, but not the heads, remind the children that any origin of the flood is a void in narration. And what was left when the dead parts were thrown away: denial, piss stains on the wall, an ugly truth by an ugly partisan. Soon casements shriveled, a distant silo erupted in locusts, and the absence in our vision became the same color as the moon.