Windows in the Underworld
Lady, I can give you the price of the latticework, of my labor. I can recommend wrought iron, show you where I’ll drill into the brick, paint you a picture of how the shadows fall through fretwork and guarantee that no other part of a man gets through my handiwork. But I can’t tell you which is better— being safe from intruders or being unable to flee from interiors. This is a question of statistics, figuring the odds of break-ins and of blazes, assigning levels of risk to individual fears, deciding which torments you more. Lady, I say, since we just met, I can’t say if no or yes is right for you, only that I’ve had many satisfied customers from whom I’ve never heard again. And then she presses herself, or doesn’t, against me, like a creature backed into a corner venturing escape through the hard angle of walls colliding, and she chooses whether by ice, whether by fire.