The One

The one played. A burning page flickered here. Another one smoked
there. Smoking and burning pages came at rare intervals, for stars must die and books must burn, but not everything explodes. Between them lay all of the other pages–hundreds and thousands. A codex had been gutted, its many pages randomly or purposefully scattered upon the sand. The one played the game; it was always different and forever the same. It was not a mere library, not an index, not chess, not a book of changes, not pick up sticks, not the tarot, not a board game of 8 or 10 rows, not an imaginary board game, not rayuela, not elephants or horses in splashed iodine or ink, not petanque or pelota, not blowing meditation, not the twirling of flowers and pinwheels to imitate whirlpools and windmills, not plowing, not test driving, not war, not guessing imaginary letters or numbers, not clairvoyance, and not mimes that mirror the deformity of life and the universe. All and none of the games threw shadows that smoked and crackled through the purity of the pages of their one game. It was the one that never made it into lists or lexicons.

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