The universe is a river called Ocean and god is a fish. Salmon-god of the sweet waters and dragon-goddess of the salt waters divide the Ocean between them; there is no third. Endless conflict; endless contact. Dragon swallows salmon, flukes the size of cities batter her ribs.

From their fighting are born Night and Day; together they dream a pantheon of squabbling gods. Monday salmon kills dragon and shapes the earth from her star-raddle meat; Tuesday dragon kills salmon and with his bones supports the luminous arc of the sky.

The world of forms is a prison around them: gravity their bars, cause and effect their jailers. Life springs from the moisture between their legs and gives them names, shapes, history. No more the endless battle, no more death for death, life for life. Ea has killed Tiamat; on his throne sky-king Ea is triumphant on his throne of majesty. No more teeth to close on his sweet flesh in the seas of the sun.

In his empty palace Ea closets himself in sleep, dreams his wife, his other. In the next room she calls for him; in the dark hunch of his shadow she coils, undying and dead.