You don't want the drink -- your hand in the air in polite declining, stark as a branch blasted by drought, naked and beyond thirst. The sun bakes the roof tiles above, but here all is shadowed and cold with your grief. Thirst writes the lines of lament across your face but still you will not drink, being divine and your assent to any of this -- the thousand-petaled flower, the gasp, the pomegranate seed, her absence -- Assent means life and you're done with that now you assure me as I limp to the board to set your drink down. Let it yellow and burn -- wheat and love, babies, those assholes and the yawning-open that spells the end of the endless march of the Golden Age. I listen to you despair with tones bleak as snow in this place where snow never falls and bite back my scolding. I'm old, ugly, lame -- a bit of a joke. I can't even read and work in this piss-poor castle job while you live forever and rule the earth. Still, I mix a damn good drink. I turn back to you, tell the dirtiest joke I know. Your eyes widen as I strip off my garb, wiggling sagging flesh like a courtesan and then pantomime sex with a stallion just for kicks. Like a blocked pipe your laughter bubbles forth, spewing out the shit of grief until we both shake with glee on the floor. Laughter doesn't bring a daughter back from the dead -- we mortals learned that lesson long before. Laughter doesn't plug the yawning void where love once took a shape and spoke and breathed. It doesn't unpluck the flower or bring us to time's fragile edge where a choice could be made differently -- guided, wise. No. Laughter only shakes the gates of death and pierces the ground so the green can come forth.