A bishop—tall, thin, with bright red lips—lifted
me onto his shoulders, squeezing as he did so my tiny ass. Wobbly,
I grabbed for his mitre, but found instead the face of a small
child, small but with a mouth big enough to swallow me.
Inside the child's mouth was a street in which
I stood alone while women lined the sidewalks laughing and pointing
at me. Why were they laughing? I wanted
to crawl under my dress and disappear into my cotton lining, but just then
my left hand fell off.
Hello, I said aloud, more amazed than terrified.
What are you doing down there in the dust?
Then my right hand unhinged itself.
Then my nose, my lips, my kneecaps.
My goodness, I said as I continued to fall apart
. . .