'If it collected like dust,' he said, 'then it would cover your breasts.'
His words made her think that light was like a cloudy liquid and cloudy liquids made her touch a memory of soap bars which she would drown in large buckets of water when she was a child so that they would dissolve and spread like a billowing cloud on a clear day. When the cloudiness had stopped reaching out - when she could no longer see the white tendrils stretching farther - she tipped the bucket. It splashed; foaming at her feet, lapping up her shins and licking the hem of her dress. She would laugh, as only a child could at childish joys. But the light didn't collect now. All it did was illuminate her further. I'll collect you, he said, and took her breast into his mouth.
The sitar was playing. You could play anything when you made love these days. The moonlight fell on his back and onto her covered breast, on her coarse hair that he adored, and onto the apex of her navel that birthed a small shadow between its folds; fathered by the moon - a beautiful penumbra. It fell on her hands, and on his hands, and their hands that were tangled vines. These are weeds - they are like parasites, his mother would say. They creep up trees and suck their nutrition. We don't want that. She had been ill and was unable to tend to her plants. In the interim, things grew.
Parasites like those worms in our stomach, Ma?
Yes. Like that.
Looking around the greenhouse and looking at his mother mercilessly rip them apart, he thought gardeners must have such power that they could decide what lived and what did not. But Ma, if they were parasites - and here he paused - why do they look so beautiful? His mother didn't have an answer so she stopped ripping the vines that kissed the trees.
He squeezed her hand harder and she managed a whisper; like vines - our hands. He stopped his hip, there was sweat on his forehead and an oily sheen on her neck.
'How did you know?'
'You touched the vine that day,' she said, 'like I touch memories. I could never kill them either.'
He saw, when he began to move again, that the moon filled the sweat on her neck - like milk fills into tea, like soap fills into water - and shined back at him. He whispered, 'the moon can be collected, after all.' Like dried jam collected dust. The sitar was playing.