Mine. Mind. Wine. Time. Dive.

It wasn't that she felt she had rescued Lee from something, never thought she pulled her out of her own depths as if from a dark current. Lee was the kind of person who periodically gave birth to herself.

"Parthenogenetic," Aurelie suggested and Lisa shrugged.

"If you say so, " she smiled. "You know me. I don't do words."

It was true and, shockingly, a delight to Lee. Lisa was given to simple rhymes and musical elisions, the new age vocalise of a California girl. "It means giving birth to yourself," Lee said, "I got that stuff from my husband. Words and wine lore, a love of wine."

A thigh stained ruby, the blue red of Merlot or raw beef. Her birthmark.

"And a daughter."

"Do you mind that?" Aurelie asked suddenly aware that the younger woman could have been. It was hard to know how to talk with her about mothers.

"Don't go sitcom on me, woman. You know I love Beth. I wouldn't have her any other way, even if she hates me."

"She doesn't hate you. It's just that she doesn't know what to think. Her world hasn't had enough women in it until now."

The phone rang. It was the sheriff's dispatcher wondering if Lisa was available to dive that night with the auxiliary. It was the first time they had called since the deaf boy drowned in the creek and so Lisa drove out in the warm air to the river where she suited up and dove through a spill of moonlight looking for a lost girl.