This lake has a woman’s name.
On the drive up here, upstate New York spread out before us like an old wound, she told me of the dream she keeps having. In it, a woman bleeds onto a man’s kitchen floor. One of her thighs is raised. Her lover stares from the next room.
I know this woman is good, she said. How? I asked.
She cleans up after herself.
Later, I watched a couple walk into the cottage behind ours. He had a lean, wolfish face. She followed close. Their ring fingers were both naked. I thought about the girl later, whether she winces whenever they pass a wedding procession.
I think there are no great tragedies anymore. Instead, we stumble into dark houses alone, consider ex-spouses, catch shreds of fur and skin in our throats. It’s like when she asks me if she’s gained weight and I tell her that no, she’s beautiful.
I walk down to the water alone.