Garland

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Krishna and Radha in a Bower (c. 1665) Wikimedia Commons

Walking in the wind on the Westside. The air is not so cold as the man thinks – though my ears hurt in my hair. The man has gone in his car to his home. I am turning my head to look down the tubes of side streets, over bright bumpy hills and at the blue sky.

Men smile at me as I go past. I am looking for the café I know. On my way to the Westside it was orange blooms and yellow cactussy scrub which drew my attention, along the cat-rib rise-and-fall which the green made along the highway. The orange was redder than Hindu marigolds. Now the light sparkles on the round sidewalk trees, and on the palms which move like skirts.

At lunch the man reached down and fondly took my ankle. He was surprised by my anklet. He opened the circle his fingers made to see the anklet and then to put his index between the anklet and my leg.

In the café my ears warm and I drink another rosé. The man on the Tapatío bottle looks up, surprised, delighted. Dimple lines and black brows. Fine small features. In the wind, out the window, the sidewalk tree separates like a school of fish and wobbles like tofu. The brilliant Tapatío climbs inside its neck, textured like the trunk of an oak.

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