The Dis­ap­pear­ance

New England Review - - Joan Larkin -

Twice Don­ald did some­thing with his mouth I hadn’t seen be­fore: old­baby grin. His eyes locked on mine as the joke lawyer ran down ifs if nots we hope nots bil­l­able. Which Dick­ens he was I don’t know––heep or Tulk­inghorn or noth­ing more vile than flat eyes and a tight tie. Don­ald was mute, his mouth mak­ing the strange smile as he walked his stick down a steep street. Gin on an empty stom­ach and he was out, me­chan­i­cally shov­el­ing in had­dock. Three times I asked Are you okay, can you hear me? and his hand poked fries into his mouth, speech­less black hole I wish were fic­tion.

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