They tell me not to wander alone in the hotel, but to me an unseen moon is a dead face going nowhere, & so I venture on my big-horse legs. In the half-dark, a single bat surges across the corridor: a punctuation mark in the shape of a swing, a flash of silence with a hot light in it. I’ve never seen a bat before, & then I have. I’ve never seen rain dropping, hard through a hole in a cloth umbrella, & then a driver picks me up for dinner in the rain, & his umbrella lets everything in. I’m brought to the Pepper Soup Arena in a black car, & more rain pommels & smears the windows, one by one. I understand corridor, I understand dinner, as a kind of ground I cross with caution in the dark. I get out, I get out. There is a trench at the edge of every door. At the brink of each trench, another brink, & then a border sharpened with stockade fencing. Whole neighborhoods close themselves, as if with belts. Freshly tapped, the palm wine in my calabash already is more ruthless than beer. It gets away from me, fast. They say to proceed with caution through each plate, as if the table were a field alive with birds & tall grasses. Still, I get lost among the starches, in the blood-deep venison that keeps appearing on my tongue. I can’t stop looking down, into the floor’s wet. So this is what I’ve been tilting towards, for so long. This is the face I’ve asked to see.