That bus is going to slam into my daughter. In my stop-action memory, everything lies bare a grace note before the accident. The school bus grinds forward stupidly, a yellow hippo. Henry is at the crosswalk, waiting for me as I turn the corner. He is not holding Mary’s hand.
I’m forever saying, Remember to hold on to her. She bolts toward the cat across the room, the crocus past the fence. She unfastens from me, too, and I have to catch her. In my arms she grows vehement and fights like a fish. We chose the name “Mary” because it is plain-spoken, classic, but after she was born, I looked it up: It means “rebellion.” Even while she floated inside me, her thigh bones twitching like fire-making sticks, producing her fiery skin, she was already a grace note ahead of becoming herself, rising out of the skeletal place where our names store their forgotten meanings.