From “The Hindrances of a Householder”

Jennifer had a tendency to stop in
the street and listen to the neighbors’

problems. She was consoling to them.
Jennifer would look for people in trouble

and offer help, even though
her body was relatively weak, and

she could not carry groceries
for the old people, really.

When the young mothers had issues
they would come to Jennifer because they

knew that Jennifer also had had issues
as a young mother and would listen to them.

Now Jennifer had middle mother issues.

Everything can be illuminated by water
or most things.

The two women in the black of mourning
knelt by the river in exact tandem, and

they spoke softly.
The film, like life itself, had minimal

plot and extraordinary beauty.
The film, like life itself, was

slow and maniacal. And when
we walked the village afterwards

in search of just the right martini
I thought of the same steps I had

taken years earlier in preparation
for mourning, and I was not unhappy.