Given

August 10, 2008 § 1 Comment

Sitting down to write after the car has pulled away. There are breakfast dishes in the sink, leftovers in the fridge, tangled sheets and two pillows on the bed. He will have crossed the border by now, and will fight sleep as the Adirondacks rise. I drink a second cup of coffee and chainsmoke freely.

Among certain West African tribes in which infant mortality is high, it is customary to refrain from naming children until some time after their birth. The Akamba, for example, wait for three days, the Gikuyu for five, and the Wolof for a full week. Only after the prescribed time period has elapsed will a naming ceremony take place, when survival enters the realm of the possible.

S., then, will be Sasha. I will miss him tonight.

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