146. One day Amy wakes up wanting

One day Amy wakes up wanting. Outside the sun is shining; the snails are slinking down the sidewalks in their mobile homes. For the first time Amy comprehends the pleasure of pure want—what Zoe must have felt as she made lists for Santa—and she showers quickly and is dressed.

Many of the snails get crushed along the sidewalks; as she walks a little stooped from the weight of her backpack she bends down further to inspect their shells. Often they’re in shards or finely ground now, the animals inside them just some sludge the shade of leaves leftover from last fall. Amy shuttles the intact ones over to the other side, placing them in tiny clearings.

On the train hushed seas of green flash by with bales of hay like buoys, blanched cropped wheat.