tayy al-arḍ


Beatrix runs up against a gang of tough young philosophers. Wearing leather togas. One of them toying with Occam's switchblade. "You're on our turf," says the leader. "Let's get ad hominem on this bitch!"

悲しん坊 × 苦しん坊、な君。

She sprints up an alleyway, scrambles over a chain link fence. They hoot and cat-call behind her, but she's gotten away. But she comes upon a great crowd of X. Droves of X, walking around. Walking but unconscious. They look like slim warm aliens.


"There's a skeleton in my skin," she thinks. "I'm always too early for early. I'm always running late for late." An X stumbles dreamily past, thrice-three times as lovely as necessary. Beatrix swoons.


"You just want my tongue on your injuries, don't you?" Beatrix croons in the X's uncomprehending ear. Meanwhile the glass-blowers sweat rivers, as the fire burns high. Beatrix hadn't noticed them before.


Sea and sky are contending for mastery. "We've got your number now," they say. Beatrix can't stand against the gale-force winds. She sees an X walking through the storm, but he isn't blown by it. He's sealed in an administrative vacuum.


He's the nosy man of everyplace. He has a bundle of books under his arm. Even at this distance, Beatrix thinks she can read the titles:

  • The Glass Half and How to Use It
  • The Glass Half and What It Means
  • The Glass Half and Why You Need It
  • The Glass Half and Where It's From
  • Who Has the Glass Half Now?


Beatrix says to him,

"I'm never too surprised by

the cloudy way you glide by

the replies you try never to supply

the elided love you still deny."


And the X retorts,

"Your up-and-at-'em attitude

has fully ruined my bad mood.

I find it tedious to say

why I can't stand the easy way

you continue to survive

but never really feel alive."


This is Beatrix's mournful rejoinder:

"Nothing but a dissipated sinner

out to hustle up another dinner—

your unquiet soul, your ambitions;

got no eye but for what you're missing."


And with that finally off her chest, she rests her head on the chopping block and awaits his swashing blow.