I hid in high grass, resting my head on a picnic basket full of silverware and napkins, the blood purling through me in long warm rivers and my boots lying nearby, ugly and unlaced.
I was digging my fingers into the dirt up to the last knuckle and drawing them swiftly out; all my chores were finished and so, woozy from waves of sunlight, I satisfied a longstanding urge to discover how nightcrawlers feel on being plucked to feed fish.
I reclined at the base of a tree and whittled a malformed elephant with a blunted pocketknife. I was shirtless and self-conscious, feeling as I often did that someone – some stranger – lay stretched out on a limb not too high above me, observing my leisure. I still felt, then, that others watched me.
I was halfway across a field, halfway to the house after a day spent searching a neighboring town for the owner of a dog that had dragged its swollen belly to our front door and fallen down, its dry tongue leaving no trace on the wood.
My family was calling out news of a birth from the porch; in their excitement they had forgotten to turn on the lights and I had to make my way to them by following their voices through the fathomless night toward home.