Finally morning. This loneliness feels more ordinary in the light, more like my face in the mirror. My daughter in the er again. Something she ate? Some freshener someone spritzed in the air? They’re trying to kill me, she says, as though it’s a joke. Lucretius got me through the night. He told me the world goes on making and unmaking. Maybe it’s wrong to think of better and worse. There’s no one who can carry my fear for a child who walks out the door not knowing what will stop her breath. The rain they say is coming sails now over the Pacific in purplish nimbus clouds. But it isn’t enough. Last year I watched elephants encircle their young, shuffling their massive legs without hurry, flaring their great dusty ears. Once they drank from the snowmelt of Kilimanjaro. Now the mountain is bald. Lucretius knows we’re just atoms combining and recombining: stardust, flesh, grass. All night I plastered my body to Janet, breathing when she breathed. But her skin, warm though it is, does, after all, keep me out. How tenuous it all is. My daughter’s coming home next week. She’ll bring the pink-plaid suitcase we bought at Ross. When she points it out to the escort pushing her wheelchair, it will be easy to spot on the carousel. I just want to touch her.