When Small Things Loom

by nicolecallihan

after Bruce Bromley

(The day was as hot as the room was small. The woman had taken to stealing: a hair tie a house guest had left; a gaze into the window-glass; spare images; titles. There certainly were small things on the earth, she knew that, even sitting on such a big chair beneath such a big sun. There were the ants her daughter poked with a stick; there was the stick itself; there was her daughter. But the heat was hard that Friday, so hard it wasn’t heat anymore. She thought of her old friend who lived with a stop-watch and then, quite suddenly, remembered the sundial her father had given her when she was a girl, how it melted one July, how she’d never be able to pass it down.)