Concerning A Lost Balloon
I'm waiting for you on the bench outside a tea lounge with the dog. There are children everywhere, because this is Brooklyn and across the way is an all-natural frozen fruit ice cream parlor. I see a balloon floating free from the shadows up into the light, crawling up the side of a brownstone like a spider then floating across the roofs where it darkens from white to pale gray in the open sky like a tiny storm cloud. It's banal but beautiful.
"Excuse me. Who has lost their balloon?"
A little girl pushes her scooter. She's wearing a pink safety helmet, and one day she'll be lovely. She's speaking to me I realize.
"It's all right," I say. "It was beautiful."
I offer her the banality with the word, and she shakes her head unsatisfied with my insipidity. Her father tries to apologize.
"But someone lost that balloon," she insists. Concern furrows her tiny brow. I pick out a smiling boy across the way and point.
"He did, see? But he doesn't mind."
She nods: "Then that's all right."
"Come along," her father says, grimacing apologetically.
"Wait!" Her eyes meet mine. "What's your name?"
It's of vital importance I don't smile.
"Isabella,"I say."What's yours?"
"Reese," she tells me. She slowly repeats, "Isabella."
She looks at me with eyes grave and sweet like yours, and I just love her.
She floats away, her father's hand barely holding her to the earth.