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After dinner,while I was still living at home, my mother would wash the dishes, and I would dry. We always talked metaphysics, breathing the soapy steam and the gravy smell of the roasting pan, puzzling over the virgin birth or the nature of evil, our thoughts fusing like the twin triangles in Solomon's Seal. Once, while drying the grapefruit knife, I cut myself. Before rinsing my finger in the suds I scratched a bloody scarecrow in the frost on the window over the sink. After a moment my mother rubbed it out, and on the next pane over drew a heart with her knuckle. When she slipped her hands back into the dishwater, her wedding ring rainbowed the bubbles.

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