She followed the tracks to a switching yard converted into a temple, where the homeless carried the relics of saints in shopping carts under the guidance of a small luminous boy dressed in the robes of a priest. As she approached, he told her a parable of butcher’s jokes, of river-serpents permitted on holy days to act as bishops and walk upon the land, of wind in the black trees, of scavenger-scholars piecing together a black gospel from words scrawled into flesh. He spoke of DNA sequences, of the star-maps along the zodiac, of the misguided attentions of gravity. “Do you believe there is a secret road?” the boy asked her. “The road is not secret. I can hear it in my dreams.” The luminous boy smiled. “I will grant you safe passage into downtown. You will need to find a second passage out, should you ever leave.” She walked along the boxcars converted into brothels, of which I will speak at greater length shortly, but there are things I must transcribe while they still exist, before they are lost.

the exit is hidden within the exit