As they walk, the wet pavement sparkles black and diamondy. Overhead streetlights shine down on their blessings, his new wife clamped inside his right arm, his daughter hooked against the left, this merry, makeshift family. They laugh. It was a stupid movie. Why do they even make them? As a car leaps the stoplight, he reacts blink-fast. He has time to save one.
At the funeral, dirt clods pound the mahogany lid like infant fists. On knees, he shudders. His wife bends down. “Shhh,” she says. “It wasn’t your fault.”
At night he counts stars and slivers of light. He remembers the stories his mother read him, the tales of fairies and angel dust, the ones of angels safeguarding on windowsills.
He watches the drapes dance, their sheer cloth gauzy, ghostly. The window is closed but then he hears it, mercy, the heater kicking off, and he lets his breathing resume.