When I was a kid my dad told me the stars made the sounds of crickets. The silver trills that had kept me up until then every night weren't spilling form the legs of little black insects but from brilliant points of light in the sky. He said this to me from outside my window in the early morning or deep night in a sleep voice I though was the Gulf of Mexico fumbling into the shore, so I whispered back, The ocean was a liar, and I knew it because the other day my dad told me the stars weren't spider eggs but distant silent suns so far away they may already have died and only the light exists of them now in the great invisible net cast out by our eyes. Then something strange happened. His giant bald head rose into the window frame followed by his one green eye, one blue eye, then his red- veined nose and finally his beard-fuzzed mouth which sang out in a clear human voice I have been afraid of ever since.
THIS JANUARY for k.m. A single page of an unfinished letter and a cup of chamomile tea are on a desk. My mother’s funeral is forty-six days after she left our apartment. “I never thought she would die this January,” my sister said. She is nine years old. My mother will miss her puberty. I recollect my mother’s lost breasts and her sleek long hair on the pillow. “I want to live,” her voice didn’t go through the pay phone. Only her radio kept speaking; One Egyptian girl was killed in her mother’s arms yesterday… The blood was purple and luminous like a galaxy in darkened space. Broken stars bleed on the concrete road. The spots slowly absorb the whole universe leaving behind the cold scent of chamomile.