Names are forbidden here. So is apology.
But the hairy father is welcome. He carries
a cauldron of mercy and a crying cat. He
sits cross legged on the dais and begins
to recite the Prayer to Missing Mammals.
All the acolytes in the audience bow their
speckled heads. A faint fragrance of music
wafts into the hall. There are chandeliers
everywhere. The back wall is painted in
window-sized checks of vermillion and green.
Above a long table with plates of pita and gray
hummus is a map of the world with blue pins
in the rivers. The Master passes out calendars.


   “We are,” he says,

   “the book the future

   wants us to read.”