He slid further down as it reached his shoulders, in a kind of
nirvana not based on freedom from desires but on attainment.
-- from Salter's All That Is
The dog prances like a circus pony, silly in purple. The Filipino caregiver next door hoses the lawn, his phone on speaker, and as he inches toward her in navy Crocs his voice grows loud, Tagalog, and the water in the hose smells like childhood, redolent of summers. A car goes by, too fast, and the girl in the wheelchair drools over the hairbrush that she rubs over her mouth, over and over. The woman looks down at her arched foot and blue toenails, a pink ridge on the top from her clogs, the resignation of age. A crystal wine glass sits on the stone pathway, from another marriage, an unaccustomed sauvignon blanc. The sun sets slowly behind her back and the mockingbirds jeer.