Between her legs the bale of sodden rag is cold. She carries it always: her curse, her shame, slung about her hips like a stillborn child bound to her as penace.
I’ve never heard my father speak. When I dream of his voice, it sounds like the work he does. Out comes hammering or sawing or digging. In my dreams, I understand what those sounds mean.
When our son was still an infant, we ran into the emotionless man on the street. You protectively wrapped your arm around me and our son snuggled against my chest.