He slipped the paper through a steel divot under the window and said, “Show this receipt to pick up your belongings on your way out.” You know in most of those situations, not everything gets returned. From the corner of my eye, a girl at a bus stop jettisoned a bright arc of orange vomit, that was the receipt. The Great Pacific shined like chrome, and it was shining, it was always shining, even in the deepest, blackest storms. Dense humidity condensed inside my stupidest notions, corridors I navigated. Imprisoned corners. Like birds, children perch on my arms, flying, seeing what I cannot. Some girl texts me, “I was thinking of you”—my former student, nostalgic for stuff that has nothing to do with me. That’s my receipt. From the corner of my eye, someone getting off the bus and hurrying across the street looks like someone I used to know, from the back.

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