Listen the voice is American it would reach you it has wiring in its swan’s neck

where it is

always turning

round to see behind itself as it has no past to speak of except some nocturnal

journals written in woods where the fight has just taken place or is about to

take place

for place

the pupils have firelight in them where the man a surveyor or a tracker still has

no idea what

is coming

the wall-to-wall cars on the 405 for the ride home from the cubicle or the corner

office—how big

the difference—or the waiting all day again in line till your number is

called it will be

called which means

exactly nothing as no one will say to you as was promised by all eternity “ah son, do you know where you came from, tell me, tell me your story as you have come to this

Station”—no, they

did away with

the stations

and the jobs

the way of


and your number, how you hold it, its promise on its paper,

if numbers could breathe each one of these would be an

exhalation, the last breath of something

and then there you have it: stilled: the exactness: the number: your

number. That is why they

can use it. Because it was living

and now is

stilled. The transition from one state to the


give, you

receive—provides its shape.

A number is always hovering over something beneath it. It is








invisible, but you can feel it. To make a sum

you summon a crowd. A large number is a form

of mob. The larger the number the more terrifying.

They are getting very large now.

The thing to do right


is to start counting,  to say it is my

turn, mine to step into

the stream of blood

for the interview,

to say I

can do it, to say I

am not

one, and then say two, three, four and feel

the blood take you in from above, a legion

single file heading out in formation

across a desert that will not count.