My wife and I go out late at night under the moon to plant seeds in our neighbor’s back yard. He is getting on in years. We only know him by a wave of his hand from across the fence at twilight when he walks in his gardens, smoking a pipe redolent with mint and cherries. Sometimes we find a wicker basket of white eggplant or summer squash under a quilted cloth on our front stoop. We know it is from Mr. Zootageek. That is what we call him. It is the name of an old magician in a newspaper found along a railroad track. He called doves down from the sky, according to the reporter, and made girl faint. After our seeds sprout, Mr. Zootageek digs the bounty up from the earth, brings the pods inside. When everything goes silent lights shimmer in all his rooms, birds, thousands of them, sing.
The Return of Consuelo Maldonado
I wake up. Something glows on the floor; sparks, footprints of an angel that fell to Earth from a star. I look out my bedroom window. A train swims across the lawn. A girl in one of the windows waves at me. I wave back. I remember her. She sat next to me in English. Her hair was as black as a town underwater shining with bioluminescence. As she goes by, the tracks undulate beneath her, she says, Have you ever asked the full moon for change of a dollar? It’s why stars twinkle like dimes. I wake up.