Whatever was flopping around in the floodwaters is obviously gone now, the streets having dried up and become overrun again with busses and people on bicycles going places it’s hard for me to imagine. No carcass after the fact, no grainy photographs. We are situated so very far from the sea here it is impossible for the creature, whatever it was, to have arrived from the sea, to have swum upstream through murky deltas and innumerable murky tributaries to show up (quite literally) at my front door, but the enormous size of the thing makes it almost impossible for the creature to have originated anywhere else. K----- says I probably imagined the whole thing, I dreamt it up right along with my diplomas from various prestigious universities and our single night of passion spent together in the Ural mountains. Certainly we have never been to the Ural mountains, I will admit this, and so any memory I have to the contrary must have been created by my subconscious mind and then was allowed to leech out into my dreams. This I will grant, but despite K-----‘s denials and air-tight arguments against my position, I know as certainly as I know the shape of the state of Colorado in silhouette that K ------ and I have slept together at some point previously, have made the creature with a single back if you are looking at it from above, and we did this not across any oceans or in previous lives, but in the here and now, if by now you mean within the last, say, five years. Perhaps we were drunk, perhaps we were so carried away by the intensity of what we were doing, by the very real fever created by emotional and physical overload, she has since begun to suffer as a consequence from some sort of minor amnesia affecting only that particular stretch of time. Who knows? But certainly I can’t have created entirely out of my own feeble mind the taste of K-----‘s lips (something like licorice combined with egg shell), the way they attached themselves to my bare skin and refused to release their grip! Ah, it was something to write ghazals about! And so I spend about a half hour each day trying to write ghazals, trying to get the couplets to exist as autonomous entities in their own right while at the same time trying to repeat whichever initial refrain I have come up with for the day. It is a very difficult and exhausting task and when I sweat over it the sweat smells a little bit like kerosene, which only happens when I am trying to write ghazals. Usually my sweat smells like everyone else’s sweat, which is not pleasant by any means but neither is it unique. K------ thinks writing ghazals, or writing anything for that matter, is an enormous waste of energy. She wants me to come by her place instead with flowers or a pork roast or something in between, and we will see, she says, what happens from there. I would claim her voice is coquettish and suggestive whenever she says these things, but I can’t. The fact of the matter is I never hear her voice anymore. We communicate now solely via text message, and I would go to her, I would, but her place is on the other side of town. When I try to find it, when I walk in that general direction with my hands in my pockets and my head down so as to avoid eye contact with those who might recognize me, those who might ask me to sing them a song because they know what everyone else around here knows – namely, that my voice is like a harp strummed from the heavens – I get lost. I wind up having to ask complete strangers for directions. When I do this, of course, I must make sure to croak the request so as to avoid being recognized. I am forced -- just to ensure my own anonymity, and, to a certain extent, my safety -- to make myself sound like an animal that spends most of its life in mud.