The god he does not believe in has never been more absent. It is not like the time when he thought he saw his father, who had been dead for 20 years, standing in his kitchen in the middle of the night. But something — an unnameable something — has grown restless and turned back.
It is nothing he could impart, nothing that even has a name. But the continental-drift of a gnaw is enough to tear notches into the strong hearts of oaks rooted forever to the floor of the world. His library is but a burnt offering to the man he believes he is believed to be. Clipping old roses from the garden brings him to tears. The skin is mottled not from affliction but from cruelest design. His escaping glove-side finger forgets, for a moment, that bones tether it to other bones. But then it remembers.
He would fear mangling the next grounder, too, but that suggests an order, a composition, where surely none survives.
(This piece originally appeared at FanGraphs. It has since been revised and made even worse, probably.)