In the beginning

Who remembers the time the three of them lived together in the garden, or for how long? Branches with deep green scales linked arms sinuously. Fruit glistened and asked to be picked. One day he sat down in the shade, overcome by a strange sadness. She asked him why he watered his hands with tears. He looked up and said, I don’t know how old I am. Do you know how old I am? She had no answer. The next day the sun came up as it always did before. The sky remained silent. Not even a hint of thunder from over the hills, like a muffled voice on the intercom. The days passed like this for a very long time. I say time, but also I remember how they didn’t seem to be able to tell the difference. Who knows if it was a month, a year, fifteen years? A marriage of one day can feel like a feather-stuffed comforter, a weighted blanket, a copper-clad kettle darkening in the fire.

Bathing in the river,
she let the water speak
to her about thirst.

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