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The Instructions

We thought the wash of the sea was turning, and our feet trailed off in the wet sand,

We thought the wrath of the day was upon us, but we were wrong.

We went out into the flower garden and opened our satchels

Inside--the Instructions.  We opened them.  They were white and huge

Unlike anything we'd seen before.

The words, too, they were new.  I remember some of them

"A convenient form.  A mode of expression.  Financial reverses, domestic infelicity and the like"

We wore our anoraks outside, carefully carrying

The Instructions along with us.

To the center of the formal garden

We walked, a giant sheet of paper trailing behind us

In the breeze.  The sand swirls were crisp.

In the early light

We knelt to read the Instructions


1.  Attach a string to the center of the garden bed.  Now, another star point.  Next a star point and the circle.  And your star is complete.

2.  Fill the desert grotto with molten glass to replace the water.

3.  Mechanical animals can be made to bend down and drink from the pool while tiny electric lights flash against a black backdrop.