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dead heat


My mother fainted dead away in the July heat of New York.  She lay on her back in her summer dress on the glittering sidewalk in front of our hotel with her eyes closed.  My brother and I answered, with scant designations, the people gathering there.  A third child rose naked from the stone walk and stood there between us, unable to meet anyone’s eyes.  Then, I forget.  Maybe she was brought inside and woke up—she who knew everything, who, given a page to color in my book, revealed the inner colorations of leaves, she who wearied and baffled me with her sayings, she who was sudden and sure what things were, swooned and fell in the heavy city dusk.