Previously published in American Letters & Commentary 18.
My sister, careful with its wings, would work a thread from the hem of one of her dresses. Take a long and perfect needle through its abdomen. (The white thread, I remember, blushed.) Tie it off with two quick but tight, over-hand knots. And still, very carefully, bite the loose thread off.
The other end of the thread she tied around my finger. Her sharp but small teeth scraped against my skin, leaving a clean knot. The tip of her tongue touched, briefly, my finger.
And these moths, these sparrows, these houseflies would tug at the string, would almost lift my finger. Would describe a circling, imperfect flight.

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