a history of loneliness at our old house with wasps in the walls & thunder storms in its hair i would go to the cool concrete basement with a handful of french fries to feed the mice. our little secret. salt grains on my fingers. mice came child-like. soft-footed. fearful. blackberry jewel eyes. i called them friends. they came to trust me. sitting near my bare feet as i brought a new morsel each day. sunflower seeds & pineapple & blueberries. tiny pink tongues. at first, they just darted away, food in mouth. but they learned to linger with me there.