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Spots like stars


by Nicholas Cook


She folds his pocket squares. He quotes philosophers' biographies from the back of garage sale books. Life isn't worth living when it's in all the wrong places. They advance toward something—a drawing of a town, a map creased in the wrong spots. You're doing something different with your breathing, he says.

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Somewhere in New Mexico she looks up at the sky, believes no one anywhere sees what she does.

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She imagines a book of his mementos. Him in a stupid hat, pictures of desert road. Reality is junk. They place themselves under each other one last time. Somewhere something new is happening to someone else. It goes on whether you want it to or not. When she closes her eyes hard enough she sees spots like stars.

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