Nataliya

by Callia Liang

I know this girl 
who can make herself cry 
in less than a minute.
She’s not even an actress
or had any sort of professional training 
or et cetera, but I went to her house once
and she demonstrated while we were doing the dishes.
When I asked her why she was crying
she told me it was because she thought
the soap bubbles on her ceramic plates looked like lace. 
Then she did it again when the front door opened:
eyes growing larger and larger, 
balancing precariously on simple eyelashes. 
This time she told me it was because she thought 
her father had finally come home,
but it was only the dog. 
Her father disappeared a few years ago
leaving behind the dog, 
the ceramic tableware, 
also a grandfather 
who only sometimes knew her name
and burped all throughout dinner.
The girl cried as she vacuumed that night,
and as we emptied the vacuum bag, 
filling the trash can with lots of strands of dog hair 
and tufts of elderly pink scalp.
When it came time for me to go, she made me promise to visit soon. 
I promised. Then she cried. This time it was because
she believed me.

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