Historic Places

Felicity stands in the threshold. Back and forth between

the couch and the window. She tells me her family are from here

expecting me to be a little more shocked than I am tipping

away when she leans in smiling back and forth to catch her eyes.

All the way from Austria to tell me. Did you know that fennel is

aggressive here because of this terrible warmth it grows where

it pleases and it grows. Did you know I make up small lies

to make you believe me more? A new tradition of embroidered

pastoral scenes, violence in floral wallpaper, a substitute for gilt.

There are children missing everywhere, she says,

and I spelled her husband’s name wrong.

I wish I could lie better and more often. I could enter someone’s

home and wave back and forth and back and say I’m from here,

now tell me what you know.