begs the sweat crawling down the neck, cigarette bangs the drums at the side of the head, cigarette wheezes each lung, itches the feet, jiggles the legs; bones click and crack, and through the flesh of the cheek strange fluids drip, then pour on to the tongue, as up the throat ashen slugs run. Cigarette, come explode this city of suffering flesh like a bomb, cigarette.

- So reports the belly button. And I, Fist, reply:

"You, massive empty dot in the middle, buried and blind amidst the black - the black of the forest of hairs, of the hills of fat, of the night-cover of clothing - you through whom once upon a time in the womb all goodness flowed - you, inferior button for whom a stray bit of fluff is a fine catch - do shut up. All you are is an absence, a gap, the path back is a cord forever cut, and for you nothing can compensate that. You speak only with the voice of total lack - an ever empty cave, a vortex of rumbling echoes, transforming every phrase into a whine for this or for that.

"The body, true, is awash with a chemical war, but will not surrender to you. Beyond the blue rivers of my veins, the hill-lets of my knuckles, the street-like grids of skin and the traffic-crashes of the paper-cuts, perch the angel-white crescents of the finger tips: I offer them as sacrifice and substitute to the tongue, the teeth, the lips."

(Although, in the laconic left-hand there sits a lighter - waiting and ready for fire and smoke. It, the left fist casually, teasingly, flicks.)