The dog, tied up outside, whines low and long over all the things she can smell but not jump on and lick.
I'm reminded of what it's like to play tag in a house. Ducking behind a door and waiting for the pursuer to run past into a different room. At the end, getting caught with a fierce hug.
Cold, clean air, a muddy lawn, leaves, a swing set at dusk.
He tells me about the relationship between manatees and elephants, and hippos and whales - just some of the topics we migrate through, using books, toy animals, and YouTube videos as supplements.
They show me a video of what at first looks like a skittering punctuation mark: a pygmy shrew, among soil and rocks and exploratory human fingers.
We cram ourselves onto a gondola swing. It creaks in protest, lurching under our weight.
This time, she finds a wound in me that she can tear open wider. My responding anger is so strong. It collects in my throat and chest, and I'm close to letting it fly. Like a snake that's reared back and spread its hood.