Vivian pours the sugar
from the cup into the mason jar.
I add the boiling water.
“It is magic,” I tell her,
“We’ll make the sugar
disappear.” She does not
believe me, and of course,
she’s right. It does not disappear,
but she is fooled as I hoped she would be
and squeals in delight as we swirl
the jar until the last white spiral
dissolves into the clear.
“Where did it go?” she asks,
in disbelief. “It’s here,”
I say, and we dip our fingers
into the water and lick the sweetness
as proof. It is only later
I remember the salt doll story,
how it stepped into the ocean
and lost itself. Or found itself.
Your call. We add cold water
to the simple syrup, four parts
to one. Then chill.
The recipe is simple.
The story simple, too.
I look at my hands. So solid.
So full of grasping. So
familiar with want and need.
And part of that longing
is to dissolve myself. And part is
to find stronger glue.
The feeder is empty now.
Best not to completely dissolve, I reason,
at least not for today, not while
there are still birds to feed
and a young girl to hold
in these so solid arms
as we watch through the window
the approaching blur of gray wings.