CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
The Devil, A Digression
The Devil has black tangled hair. He eats only the meat of dogs or goats. He is capable of showing you small examples of miracles. The Devil prefers the smell of violet.
When he learns a name he ties it with a knot into his hair and this way the Devil never forgets a name. He always leaves something behind: a grey plastic pen, a red scarf, a cigarette, a marble known as a fox’s eye. He seeds his passing with lost keys, wads of dollars, and misplaced socks.
Behind his left ear lives a tamed housefly who whispers incessantly and urgently to him, and thus in this ear Satan is mostly deaf. These things the fly whispers sometimes cause the Devil to smile and other times to choke and still other times to allow a gurgling of phlegm.
At each instance of his spine a button has been painted. Sometimes the fingers of a young girl will toy with these and be tempted to let them slip from their holes.
Yes, the Devil gives milk, but it is chalky and unsatisfying. His covenant is made with circles and symbols described in salt. Or with simple blemishes, cold to the touch. Shaped like a dog. From which blood cannot be drawn.
Where his right hand touches he leaves a mouldering scent and so it is with his left hand that he gives pleasure.
On the green inked tongue of the Devil is written, with Cyrillic letters, the time and method of his death. He has been known to arch over sleeping children and slip his tongue between their teeth and to lick the roofs of their mouths, leaving his fate described in a puckering Braille which festers and feeds off what it finds in their mouths. At night these children will sit and prod the scar in search of a gap. They have pleasant breath and avoid lisps. These children have perfect teeth.
He keeps with him two fish knives, one rusty from use. Sometimes he carries these in his back pocket, at other times he has them in the inside pocket of his jacket. Both of the mouths of the Devil are painted red. His fingernails are well kept.
On his left eyelid is written your birth and on his right your death. But, because it is not permitted for man to know both, the Devil never closes both of his eyes. Rather, he blinks with one and sleeps with the other.