Wildflower honey, dripping as clear as memory. A mound of black soft fruit and natural yogurt, like blood darkening in the snow. Tea with milk, drunk in the backyard of the world, the trees warbling while black knives swoop in an overturned bowl of sky.
. . .
His back, long and sleep-hot. The veins of our bedroom, pulsating.
. . .
Why is a potato 98 cents? I wake up with a headache, under white branches, in a bluish white cave of a room. A drill squeals with the cry of an exotic bird. In the medina in Marrakech, we would come across cages of little dull orange-beaked birds, whistling in a dim corridor amid the beads and dates and tourist charms.
. . .
The flowerless orchid has a single leaf, soft and long, like a tail of a cat that I stroke while reading Susan Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others. Orchids are marvelous creatures. Unattended they will crisp, as if perished, but remembered, rescued from some dim, sullen corner, patiently watered and given the exact degree of sunlight required by its particular species--everyone's right--they will flourish. They are marvelous like every living thing, like bad luck and good luck.
There is not enough light in that room.
. . .
I will kill you, Pauline had promised, if you do not call your mother while you're in America!
The last time I was in San Diego, my mother had built a gazebo for her orchids, arraigning them in tiers inside the ruddy carapace. Light snuck between the slats, drowsily suffusing the interior. Striped and stippled tongues panted in the desert heart while an ersatz CCTV camera hovered in the corner.