For the first time, I felt closer to my godmother than to my mother. Once upon a time, Thera had come here and taken tea in this room because her blood and mine were that thing which can't be spoken.
My host watched me take the tea again, watched the sugar and the warmth and the images tell me my story from down the rabbit hole, from the perspective of the people who watched it with sadness and a genteel appreciation for the exigencies of circumstance. "We were in love," my mother would say. Then she would rub another layer of lotion on my skin and give me another flask of perfume, unable to mediate the touch of my skin entirely under the greasy ministrations of gloves and petrolatum.
Like a rubber tire losing itself against the road until it is deflated, I had been running on her love alone and I am broken down.