A man walks alone in the park and beside him a woman walks, also alone.
How does one know? It is as though a line exists between them, like a line on
a playing field. And yet, in a photograph they might appear a married cou-
ple, weary of each other and of the many winters they have endured togeth-
er. At another time, they might be strangers about to meet by accident. She
drops her book; stooping to pick it up, she touches, by accident, his hand and
her heart springs open like a child’s music box. And out of the box comes
a little ballerina made of wood. I have created this, the man thinks; though
she can only whirl in place, still she is a dancer of some kind, not simply a
block of wood. This must explain the puzzling music coming from the trees.
“The Couple in the Park” by Louise Glück from Faithful and Virtuous Night. © Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014.