The Perimeter of What You Can't Have
There were no windows to begin with in either the courtyard or the surrounding wall-walk rooftop. Everything was open to the sky (if that was possible).
The roof was my Retrato Especie from my mother's courtyard. My little sister joined me to wait for the lunar eclipse—the Little Sister I Never Had that poured her friend's mother's Chanel perfume over her My Little Pony to specialize herself. We shared cheap wine straight from the bottle. 'I' was sure of it. The wine was labeled "Sangre de Christo" and tasted like grape Kool-Aid.
Then it began to happen:
Our arcing shadow cut into the perfect sphere of the moon. Our reflection made the steely orb so real you could reach out and touch it. That's when my sister got the idea to call her father in DC, but then she caught herself. "He's in another time zone," she said. "He won't be able to see this until 3:17 EST." This was the Little Sister I Never Had that was weaned on reading TV Guide in the absence of American TV. I loved her like she was full and living. I let her believe we were all under the same penumbral umbrella.
"These are the conditions under which she was conceived," said our mutual Mother With Joint Between Knuckles. ('I' didn't realize she was standing there,)
"On this woven mat.
On this roof.
During a full moon."
I rolled off the mat, and stood up. "That's more than I needed to know," I said.
"One other thing. The mat you were lying on was used to sort fish down by the lake."
I plugged my ear holes with my index fingers, then grabbed my toothbrush and descended to the streets. I missed the rest of the eclipse on her account.
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