The day my bleeding stopped, I arrived in the first city. I was no longer
a large body in the grass. Dipped my left toe into the polluted river. Carried an infant
across my back, into museums, into buildings tall as horses. I rode
a horse through the park. Made a mistake: sat in the church – myself Jewish –
and missed everybody. Missed the sounds the leaves made as they scraped
against the old cabin window like a wedding day. Missed my own wedding,
which never actually happened, but I remembered the months when the infant
grew in my womb, the fog dying all around my chest. I wandered through
the flowers of the botanical garden like a minister, the infant cradled
between my hands like a home. The infant weeping. The infant and I both animal
as the dead whale found on the city beach in December. She had eyes like mine.
She felt her hunger, shrouded around her, though I could not feel my own.