But time holds for us two.

In my backyard, I have a persimmon tree with
large heart-shaped persimmons the size of my fist.

Winter comes, the leaves fall off and I harvest the persimmons with a long pole that has a net attached to the end of it.
I knock the persimmon off and it falls into the net.
But the last persimmon is still hanging on the highest branch, beyond reach.
A pale yellowish green.

I want to let it ripen on the sill.

Next Friday.

Her promise hangs there like a small sun.

Women always come back, says my father.

They do. They do.

But just as a child goes crying through the neighborhood
for a cat that has slyly hidden itself between the bed covers,
or pries open a seed to dig out a flower,
I had yet to learn
the art of patience.

My mother, exhausted by my running around,
would often tell me to sit by her and draw.

She would draw as well.
I still have quite a few sketches
she has made of me: she has drawn me drawing her, bent over the long sheets of
butcher's paper, the glossy smooth paper, waxed, tanned.
We had all the paper we wanted.

Bored, I would breathe on the window pane until it condensed.
Come over here, I would say to her, write my name here.

J o n a t h a n.

Write your name, I say.

H a n n a

I turn to her and start my three question game.

Do you love me? I demand.

Yes I love you.

Do you really love me? I ask.

Of course I really, really love you.

Why do you love me?

This particular game grows increasing difficult because
my mother must come up with a new reason each round. All responses must
be serious. Metaphors are allowed, nonsense is discouraged.

Because you were inside me for nine months.

Why do you love me?

You're my handful of snow.

Why do you love me?

Because you love me.

I stop, satiated, pondering the symmetry.

Hanna loves Jonathan.

Jonathan loves Hanna.

Johannathan, Johnathan, Jonathan.

Don't you see?

J O ( H-A-N-N-A) T .

Clear as two pieces of glass stacked.

I was once in her; now, she is in me.

Forget her, he says, wiping the window dry.

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