Colleen Writes Her Report

A fire forever burning, and you the flame and the fuel both.

For your unnameable, uncountable crimes and virtues, you have fallen to this place, found your true level at last; the key fits in the lock, finally. A college of your peers, a break room of geniuses, hairnets and safety glasses and ear plugs, forever and always, amen. You speak, and the bonfire roars, trading oxygen for carbon, wood for charcoal.

Time to think, and an unsolvable question. Not unanswerable — you find new answers weekly! — but perhaps unsolvable; you approach the last, best, and final answer like Zeno’s arrow, forever closer, but still infinities away. Every day, new thinkers appears, new tongues of flame, and the convocation of your burning grows louder and louder, echoing off Pandemonium’s flawless walls, but still a universe of space.

You quiz every stray visitor, every rogue Italian or impudent psychopomp. Comb the beaches, count the stars, number every cat in Zanzibar — the whole is greater than the sum. It has to be. You, poor devouts, quest for God, and scorch yourselves with faith.