My condolences to the man dressed for a funeral, sitting bored on a gray folding chair, the zero of his mouth widening in a yawn. No doubt he's pictured himself inside a painting or two around his station, stealing a plump green grape from the cluster hanging above the corkscrew locks of Dionysus, or shooting arrows at rosy-cheeked cherubs hiding behind a woolly cloud. With time limping along like a Bruegel beggar, no doubt he's even seen himself taking the place of the one crucified: the black spike of the minute hand piercing his left palm, the hour hand penetrating the right, nailed forever to one spot.
The widower in silk pajamas slides his hand along a glossy blue sleeve, thinking, Water to fabric, rivulet slipped through a needle’s eye. He’s all ripples when he moves, all waves breaking against flesh. He read in the paper the human body is 80 percent water. He is almost a brook when he wanders around the yard, practically a river flowing upstream when climbing stairs, the distant past of Pacific salmon leaping over his shoulders. He naps for hours on a king-size, the mattress dimpled where two bodies slept together for decades. Dreaming, he is the relative of that lake where he tipped the urn overboard. What was left of her the water dissolved, becoming the water and the lulling blue sounds it made while he paddled back to land.