Works Of Art
by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Cerveza’s call came four days later.
‘Can we meet you for tea somewhere?’ Sally asked. I watched her face as she listened to his reply. Her blue eyes narrowed, then widened, tear-bright.
‘No, I—’ she said. A pause. She bit her lower lip. ‘You don’t understand. Your art cries out to be preserved.’
She waited. She squeezed her eyes shut and tears spilled out. When she opened her eyes, she stared at the ceiling, twisting the phone’s coiled cord around her wrist and pulled it tight. ‘Denial,’ she whispered. ‘Very well.’ She hung up the phone as though it were an egg and might crack if mishandled.
‘Oh, Lucy,’ she whispered.
I went to her and offered what comfort I could.
When her sobs slowed, she said, ‘He’s coming tomorrow morning, with an ax.’