For a moment I think the cream-colored wall has shed blood. But it's a cardinal, swooping down from the roof in one liquid red glide.
It's an inarticulate day; rain is slurring down the windows.
Out on the sunny lawn they grunt and kick high, their fists held close to their chests. Every few kicks they rotate a fraction, their legs jerking up.
There it is, a suitcase by the door, a backpack beside it, both waiting for early morning.
I imagine that the sound of wasted time, of hours pouring away with little to show for their passing, is that of a rainstick - a slippery, hollow sort of sound, mildly pleasant and lulling.
It's an afternoon of squirrels. They rear up, vigilant and still, in patches of tall grass or clumps of broad green leaves. They drape themselves on the backs of benches or pick furiously at fast food and candy wrappers. One of them twitches in fright when a butterfly lands on its tail; it goes leaping across the grass, body bristling.
Tectonic tensions underlie his life. On the one hand, he is rooted in and nourished by beliefs and practices that are centuries-old; on the other, he craves the latest thrills, wants to seek the newest trend-setting city or neighborhood and insinuate himself into its rhythm and life.