'at least I'll save the life
of this one otter,' I tell Lucy,
the slick otter slipping from my grip
and bouncing off the banister rail
four floors below. I look up at her,
my hands already raised in a shrug
from where, seconds before,
I'd been cradling the otter like a baby.
Her mouth hangs open like an otter's.
Unfortunately, I become defensive:
'Oh, sure, that's right,' I say, 'I suppose
this is yet another thing that Dan wouldn't do.
Dan, Dan, bloody Dan.' Now that my hands are free,
I can be more demonstrative with my gestures.
'If you love Dan so much, well,
why don't you marry him?'
Her eye twitches, like the webbed paw
of a dying otter.
'Dan is my brother,' she asserts.