My room overlooked the cemetery. It was sunny and peaceful. In summer the paths twinkled like brooks of milk. In the fall they were thickly bricked with gold leaves. All winter grackles quarreled among the tombstones. Beyond, low hills and copses dissolved into country roads, a chicken farm, a highway. Kate and I visited the farm; we admired the two-headed chicks suspended in alcohol and carried home double-yolked eggs. We walked the forbidden highway all the way to the gas station café where we savored the thick exhaust of trucks and like the logger in the song stirred coffee with our thumbs. But the place we especially loved was in the woods behind Kate’s house, a cluster of elms felled by lightning, a clutter of naked trunks sprawling like lovers shipwrecked in sleep. The dead trees were our treasure hunts, our highways to planets haunted with the moonmen of our minds. Even now I dream of trees carved into the painted likenesses of our games, the totems of childhood. Even now I recall a crystal gazebo and the smooth walls of a fictive corridor better than the room I slept in last night, the face of the man I slept with.
– from The Smallest Muttonbird Island in ‘The Complete Butcher’s Tales,’ pg. 107