When P is sick, she fits under my arm, curls into the curve of my waist, settles her head against my ribs. I remember that she is still small, fragile, that she used to squirm beneath my heart, that our blood used to mingle in our veins.
The leaves of the banana tree flutter in the morning like shredded flags, long lines snipped into their sides in perfect symmetry, letting light shine through, bright and yellow. The stem curves gracefully, glows, the greens move like water.
J traveled all the way to Morocco to discover the smell and taste of rose water. Now she has her very own bottle, holds it like a porcelain doll. We bake pink meringues, sticky and soft like melted marshmallows. She runs her finger through the syrup left in the pot, picks small crumbs from the parchment paper, follows the smell of rose water around the kitchen, a scent she’s been missing all these years.
A bee eater glides by, parallel to the grass until it falls and spins, pulls up before it touches the grass, returns to its leafy throne with its unfortunate breakfast clamped tight in its beak, a termite who woke this morning unaware of the sacrifice it would make today unheralded, no martyr’s prayer, no saint day. The bee eater bobs its tail in gratitude.
M slips a small paper tile beneath my door, blue and purple water colour melted together, a shaky LOVE painted across the bottom, a telegram from a distant soul.