The sound of something punctured.

In Rio de Janiero, the whores make this sound to lure their customers.
They stand on the street corners, half-naked, hissing like a gaggle of geese.

Marilyn is afraid that my father is losing interest in her and, in fact,
she's right.

She veers to me: she takes my pants and repairs them. She sews
buttons on my shirts. She comes over with groceries, cooks and cleans house.
When she finds the traces of other women, she wants to hold onto me and
cry but I push her away.

My father told me he didn't plan to ever get married again. Sometimes he
would say, No one's as good as your mother. At other times, he would say,
All of them are so much better than her that I can't decide. He was not
a careless man; only indecisive. But this distinction soon ceases to matter:
Marilyn's pregnant. My father stops calling my mother. He and Marilyn get
married. But there's no wedding. They just go down to City Hall on a Tuesday.
Marilyn is wearing a blue-violet dress, a blue-violet hat, a white purse,
a bunch of harebells. I notice that the harebells are falling.
She is stepping on them as she stands. My father's wearing a black suit. There
is a streak of pollen on his arm. Ten years later, he digs the suit up to wear to a funeral, Marilyn's funeral. When I point this out to him, he stares at me, unable to comprehend why this would even
be worth mentioning.

I do, she says, not knowing where to look.

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