Their own memories were heavy with their memories of their families, the dead families in Poland and Austria, lost to war. They are nestled inside her, but sunny days like this one push them aside. She’s thought again and again—she always thinks—that she’dbe alone again, if not immediately, then in a few years, and if nobody left her or the place or the time or this life, she’d get old no matter how much she’d resist it, and she does puta fight. One couple brought a poodle whose teeth go upward over its mouth.

Another couple brought an adolescent daughter lonely enough to join them.

The attendant with the glasses pulled her foot from the water and began deep-throating her toes.

Her eyes shut and “she, too, is a sacrament” moved through her body like it had when her face was pressed against the pink wall and she could hardly breathe.

She’d been hired because the dad wanted her to sleep in his bed, and the mom didn’t want to rent a carpet cleaner. She and her first had had this skill when they were twelve and loved anything bright that smelled bad.

Her first had come from Mexico; she had a bulging mouth and troubles they were too young to understand. At the house, she coaxed the station attendants to the backyard.


Yet I couldn’t count on Torrap’s locksmith’s skills always.

At night, she transported the potion in a Ziplock bag to various lawns of the neighborhood, pouring a little into the grass. He folded an envelope into a crane and held it out to her. She sat on the edge of the lounge-chair, dipping her feet in the koi pond. They stared at the luminescent belly of the upside down koi.

She and her first had used film canisters, because they lived by the Kodak factory and the sidewalks had been littered. Two station attendants were chatting inside an illuminated glass box. ” “I am looking for a bird.” He glanced at the other attendant, who was playing tic-tac-toe on his knee. ” “A white bird.” Their mouths moved in a way that made her feet want to be touched. One of the attendants placed her crane on the surface of the water and they all watched another koi swim up and kiss it.

When the par­rot went miss­ing, I put my hat on, took my father-in-law’s Peruvian cane with the carved par­rot, asked my hus­band to come home, placed his skates by the gate, and head­ed out, leav­ing the entrance door unlocked.

The par­rot, Torrap, had long dis­cov­ered how to unlock the cage door with a com­bined action of nails and beak, and how to open our bed­room door, by call­ing the dog’s name (God) and say­ing, “God! ” We kept the door closed because we were try­ing, but I was, secret­ly, on the pill.


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