That morning after running the bricked-in campus some far-off bright fall day— a flash to my left as the hawk scored a squirrel then swept it into an oak where it held it with an almost tenderness. It was like watching a sculpture made of smoke that would materialize a moment, change shape, then disappear. A masque might be made of it, some experimental film. The students gawking, everyone watching. As if nothing sinister ever occurred in broad light. Before we married, I suffered insomnia. Remember? We were living on separate continents, which could have been planets: everything that moved moved by inversion—our watches, the weather, the whether-or-nots we’d see each other again. Weeks without sleep, I took a wrong turn, forgot the way home. We’re warned against shutting our eyes to things we don’t want to see coming, as if our lives were an overnight shift, not a series of risks or random events. You spent a good hour, maybe more, talking me back by phone, treating confusion’s fact as simple happenstance. When you returned next spring so did sleep, delivering the hawk as it tore through night toward the still-living thing locked in the tree’s darkening branches. I remember the damp sap of that dream— across the quad, two cardinals whistling back and forth with such sweetness. It would take me a decade to vow I’d see us through. Trust me, you kept saying, until pulling into the drive I heard myself answer, I do.