After about a thousand years, it was dawn, napalm on wildflowers, the flames waving in a busy kind of way, equal parts light and dark. A boy with a clubfoot hobbled down the path through the park, clutching a prescription nobody could fill. The birds felt bad for him. “Acapulco Gold,” they murmured as he limped under the trees. “Chicago Green, Manhattan Silver.” He pretended not to hear them, and I pretended not to see the mangy-looking lions crouching behind the bushes as if about to spring.
Visiting the Dead
There were fewer people around than usual. Maybe I had missed the announcement of the discovery of a new smart drug. Or maybe they were off in the woods stalking each other. The gravedigger continued to doze, leaning on his spade at the foot of a freshly filled grave. I felt a promiscuous grief, as I often did, like an unlit candle eavesdropping on sunlight.