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Ashes cower behind cast iron cooking grates. All these rusted charcoal grills nurse the ghosts of old meals. Robins rub shoulders with the secrets of starlings. Above them, blue jays perch on curved branches and crooked power lines. Alfalfa and hoary alyssum stand together at the side of the road, their fingers interlaced. I follow a path paved with dried leaves and wood chips. It leads me to a broken pipe. Water moved through this once. Today it's a thermoplastic root packed with warm dirt. In the parking lot there's an empty bag of West Coast weed wedged between two speed bumps aged past the point of visibility. A black metal bench is braided with flowers, marked by the memory of a woman who died the year she turned sixty-five. A blue polypropylene shovel lies abandoned at the intersection of Gladstone Avenue and Memorial Drive. An emaciated dirt bike stalls out twenty feet behind me. A scattering of blue tears tattooed beneath the rider's eyes. He weeps even when he smiles. A Briard nuzzles my leg. I feel the wet kiss of her nose against my knee. Kids toss logs onto the chipped roof of the gazebo. At the top of a hill I find a billet fit for burning. I hoist it above my head and blow a headstrong aphid from my forearm. A child who shares your name loses her footing and falls. She picks herself up and tiptoes across tabletops. Stone slabs and wooden planks on cinder blocks. The trail proffers a marble, dented and dirty. It glows green in my hand. I stare into the sphere to see the future, and my ears fill with the thick gauze of your father's words. "That's my girl."

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