Samantha watched her mother watch the dark surface of the water, her gaze sweeping over it like a searchlight, her breathing measured as a clock, the tick-tock swell of her breasts against the starched white blouse each time she inhaled, a sad smile on her lips.

"Are you looking for the blue heron?" she asked.

"No. The drowned boy."

"Yuck," Samantha said. "Sometimes you are so weird."

"I live in my eyes, love." Her mother turned the searchlight to Samantha's soul. She felt the light scour its lobes like an xray searches for lung cancer. (She was, recall, the daughter of a clinical physician, a virologist. Vir was the word for man in Latin.)

"And what will you do if you find him?" she asked.

Hold him. Hold him, her mother thought.