Indifference to how the wise quicken slows Precious's breath. Eighty one birds fly from the ash tree's pewter chandeliers. The woodpecker draws near, rattling his castanets. Precious wants to turn down the amplification on the garden. They had said it might get loud, those whisperers with their lubricious hearts and their black-braided cloaks. The garden rotates under its frosting of stars, turns on its indifferent axis. Beneath her feet the dead decompose. She conducts the flow of energy through her body. Soil silts up the gaping eyes of the birds. She is afraid of them, afraid of their all-hallows cries and their ghostly flight. She spins again in the eleventh month, summoning them up. Here they come: the salt of the earth, the sky's new seasonings.
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