Like most men he wanted a son and sometimes dreamed that he had had one, one who drowned or slipped away (a deaf boy had drowned, a dolphin, in the creek upstream of Lisle in the Spring; once he saw a drowned man in steaming river, puffed like a manatee).

Dreamed a son by a dark mother.

Sometimes in the dreams it was the mad woman who was the mother of his son, the would-be Devi, the strange queen of the blue mountain, the ghost of his great-grandmother. (There was a litany of names for her but only one memory: how she pulled him into her hungrily, gripping his buttocks so frantically there were scratchmarks for a week, like the irregular parallel lines of a falcon's claw. He swabbed them with Betadine in the wardrobe mirror, feeling a fool, rust yellow stains over the lines on his white buttocks. She had bit his shoulder as well, leaving a curved row of blue marks which he likewise swabbed, a doctor. This wasn't what Tevet meant by romance.)

He tested himself for HIV and STDs as well. You pay for sins in a world of sciences. Pay for witchcraft also. In a careful life it was his only slip from grace and, though he was certain he would eventually suffer its consequences, he nonetheless sometimes stared at the cross she gave him and dreamed of being deep in her thighs. In his dreams her long fingers clawed at his moon white ass until the scratches bled and the sperm pumped from him in a white billow.