Those walking through found the house smelled of someone gone, weedy and dank.
How would they know he sat on the cement floor of his basement and regarded her name penciled on to the label of one of the drawers of their filing cabinet? The cabinet held their bills, their passports. It held his newspaper clippings and her garden diaries.
It did not hold the summer they met.
It held nothing.
Wolfeboro: They worked at the same resort on Winnipesauke. His second summer, her first. Gosh, she was pretty. Black hair and puckered lips. A real looker. His dad would think so, too, though he hoped his dad wouldnt notice everything about her.
They had bumped into each on the shrouded lane which led to the beach. He went left, she went left. He went right, she went right. They laughed. Slapstick. No better way to break the ice.
Weeks before he dared touch her, hand on skin above her capris, just below where her knotted sleeveless blouse had ridden up. They were sitting on the dock, talking, as they did, well after all of the guests were either in bed or out dancing for the night.
Lap, lap, lap, the waves against the wood.
Their feet dangled and swung and hesitated above the water. She laughed at something he said and tipped her body backward. He reached out to steady her, the palm of his hand tissuing her smooth back.
He remembered that his hand on her back had lingered.
But it had not. His hand was a hummingbird, alighting, and off.
Ask for this:
Ask for this hand, a hummingbird.