The book lay between them. Something soft, something breathing lightly in the corner of the room.
“Open it,” he said.
She turned to stare off into some spectacular distance.
The book had been on the “A” shelf but he had only seen it for the first time this morning. He waited, but she wasn’t listening. The braces and elastic – teenage chewing gum – a 45 on the turntable, no arm, no needle, no noise.
The book spoke first. Leaves — some dry, some wet. Some broken, others red with autumn.
They heard others speaking but then there was only the breathing. The racing breath now.
so long ago
a white apron