Putting up new curtains, other windows intrude. As though it is that first winter in Cambridge when you and I had just moved in. Now cold borscht alone in a bare kitchen. What does it mean if I say this years later? Listen, last night I am on a crying jag with my landlord, Mr. Tempesta. I sneaked in two cats. He screams, "No pets! No pets!" I become my Aunt Virginia, proud but weak in the head. I remember Anna Magnani. I throw a few books. I shout. He wipes his eyes and opens his hands. OK OK keep the dirty animals but no nails in the walls. We cry together. I am so nervous, he says. I want to dig you up and say, look, it's like the time, remember, when I ran into our living room naked to get rid of that fire inspector. See what you miss by being dead?
You have rented an apartment. You come to this enclosure with physical relief, your heavy body climbing the stairs in the dark, the hall bulb burned out, the landlord of Greek extraction and possibly a fatalist. In the apartment leaning against one wall, your daughter's painting of a large frilled cabbage against a dark sky with pinpoints of stars. The eager vegetable, opening itself as if to eat the air, or speak in cabbage language of the meanings within meanings; while the points of stars hide their massive violence in the dark upper half of the painting. You can live with this.