Pia Z. Ehrhardt

The realtor brought me to see a light yellow cottage near the trace. "This neighborhood's safe for a woman alone," he said.
"She's engaged," I said. This had been true and I kept it that way.
"Does she need a big yard?" he said.
"No dog."
"A modern kitchen?"
"Small appetite."
My husband Roy rode a motorcycle with a seat fringed like a saddle that leaned my sister back, pelvis smiling up at him, hands on her thighs like arms on a chair. She had never tired of the long rides to nowhere with our restless father. "Roll down your window," she'd tell me. The wind whipped her longer hair at my face. "Tie it back," I'd tell her.
The realtor stood in the driveway. "This crape myrtle tree," he said, pointing over his head, "stains carpet. There's room to put in a carport. Keep your shoes clean."
"She doesn't drive," I said.
The front door was beveled glass and unlocked. A pecan-sized cockroach skated across the hall. "Outside kind," the realtor said.
On his way to fuck my sister, Roy tried to beat the train at the crossing but his bike lost traction on the rails, slid him under a repair truck patient behind the wooden arm. I drove across Lake Pontchartrain to her place in New Orleans, took her in my arms. She wet my shirt with fresh tears. Mine stayed put imagining he was long since dead to me. "What will I do now?" she cried. We were the before and after.