The Robe 

A robed acolyte came back to the river and found the boatman. Questions, guessed the boatman as the river whirled and rolled by in scintillating soughs and eddies of blue and green. Five, said the acolyte. Five jewels. Why the thirst to escape thirst? Why are illusions bound together? Why is the emptiness hungry? Why are symbols able to exist without real referents? A stray dog suddenly jumped from the grove of fig trees and ripped his robe to shreds before running off into the river and drowning. Shaven, naked and scarred, the acolyte covered a wound in his abdomen with his hand and stared into space as the rain began to fall. 

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