As a girl I was godhungry, I collected them like stamps. Many-armed and jackal-headed, blue-hued and cloven-hoofed, playing the pipes, the harp, the fool, fickle, flawed and fictional. Boy-gods naked, thumb-sucking, silent; bare-breasted girl-gods of sex and the sewers. A god for everything and every god in its place, like so many insects in my killing-jar. The monkey indulged my avarice, bringing me them like a cat brings a corpse. I mounted my gods in scrapbooks and on cork, cataloguing and curating and all the time incredulous that it should be them instead of me.
Tiring of gods like colouring books I began to paint my own. I went to the seaside and found a god at night beneath the waves. I saw the whales hanging, heads-down in the lambent blue, like bombs falling in aspic. I saw the squid slide, their petticoats rippling, their beaks bared for a kiss. I saw seasponges like sweetbreads and the umbilical eels. That wet god sent me jellyfish and prophecies in the flotsam, wood bleached to bone and salt-licked pebbles of glass. I caught birds and carved them, sending them off to sea in paper boats with sails made from hankies. With my worship, the beach grew smaller, the tide sidling higher, the water closing in.