Ian Christopher Hooper The 2River View, 7.4 (Summer 2003)

Sunday open houses,
riding elevators up into impossibly expensive views,
the broker asks when we’re looking to buy.
Maybe next lifetime, my wife says, or the one after that.
It depends on karma, of course, and the cosmic probability of two souls finding each other again on a planet of six billion.

The boss’ youngest daughter is sick, really sick,
and I ask my wife again about birth defects, autism, food allergies, downs syndrome, special ed., ADHD, and do we really want to stop buying those little round pills? I’m waiting for another reassuring answer, and waiting.

Driving by herself to Billings, my wife nods off at the wheel, a split second, nothing more, and she calls me from a hotel room that night, laughing, she doesn’t understand why I can’t sleep, why I’m repeating fuck! fuck! you’ve got to be more careful! to her picture in the living room.

The broker unlocks the door, let’s us wander in, shows us the kitchen and the den. The balcony, though, is a platform over the city, over the world, with a sweep of roofs and trees and parks all ordered like colored dominoes beneath us, reassuringly patterned, reassuringly insignificant, reassuringly safe. And just imagine what it’d be like if we were even higher up, says my wife. Do you want to see some more? asks the broker.

Yes, yes, we say, take us all the way to the top.

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