"Thank you for making this sacrifice," I say to my husband as I run to Kim's market. Never mind what the sacrifice is. Sacrifices between husbands and wives are private, and fill a person with simple, healing water. Kim's buzzes with Sunday night customers as into the plastic basket go watercress, asparagus, garlic, pecans when a girl throws herself through the plastic door flaps tears streaming down her face while her boyfriend catapults past the troughs of oranges screaming, Water! Water! And Mr. Kim peers down his quizzical nose and Mrs. Kim stands in mountain pose
openly hating the girl for dying of an overdose among the lemons, mangoes, papayas, and limes of the country of her family's origins plunging among the plums and dying there the color of a plum beneath her dark hair for the girl is turning purple. From the back of the store by the water the boyfriend shouts that she's swallowed a lollipop head. Now she is almost the color of an eggplant, and young Mr. Kim by the register is asking her, "Should I call 911?" in a pleasant, insistent whisper, "Should I call 91l?"Big sound should boom from her, but only a bubble squeaks at her lips. "Call 911! " I speak for her raising my woollen arm, aiming for her shoulder blades where I whack, whack her again, and no lollipop pops out. But sound bellows out! Like idiots everywhere, her boyfriend shouts Calm down, Calm down, forcing water into her throat, which must help dissolve the candy my backslap dislodged."Where's that Choking Victims poster you're supposed to hang?" the boyfriend demands of young Mr. Kim.
."I'll cancel 911,." he says.
"Where is that lady?" the sobbing girl is asking. Right here, I say, I am right here behind you. I am putting endive in my basket. As she grabs me in a bear hug, her face has a human color
and it is a hard face, strong and horsey. "Oh Mommy!" she shouts. As my sister was dying she called me Mommy. I stand in a mountain pose, and she smiles up from a pile of plastic baskets. "My name is Marisol!" she spouts. My name is Molly! (I'm afraid she might hear those l's as m's.) "Thank you for saving my life!" Now don't eat any more lollipops, I say mommily, closing the cosmic circle begun at breakfast when my husband made the promise I won't reveal. Grown human beings making sacrifices return to the universe a favor of love.