Oyster Boy Review 04  
  Spring 1996
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» Levee 67



Terry Spohn

An old woman is carrying a table lamp down the street, its pale bulb exposed to the wind like a baby's head. The dangling cord jumps in protest with every step. Is she hurrying home? Probably, but perhaps even that isn't true. After all, I am standing at the window lying to the baby and waiting for the next thing to happen. I've been telling the little guy how we are all going to take such good care of him, that the wind will never part his clothes, and how much we each mean to the sunlight, even when it has no heat. The lies come more easily as I tell them, each more ornate than the last as my confidence grows, the way a cow learns to curl its plump tongue around grass. I promise to build him the kite of lasting happiness, a kite with no string, my favorite lie, of course, because I say nothing about the wind that never comes back. I tell him I'll paint the seasons on his ceiling and that I'll never, ever, leave his mother when already her replacements wander nightly through my dreams. In the dusky window I see the dim reflection of my face, the stranger who's been watching us, who's heard every one of these lies many winters ago near a window in Decatur.