I had to go to town early, stopping off on the way to order teeth for the mouth that had suddenly appeared in the back door – just after a white dove had made a black mark and then flew off. June wanted to turn it into a cat flap but I said only the dog would use it. Chewing on a cigar shaped like Clint Eastward I rode into the surgery and handed over a scrap of paper which, I thought, looked like a claw. I didn’t stop off at the livery stable on the way home, carrying my tongues of fire in a cotton bag and smoking words. I touched the door handle at one thousand degrees centigrade and then wrote everything I knew on the side of a match. June came in later wanting a cigarette and holding a spent matchbox.