Following the body up and down, around another bend, two white sneakers, miniature calves and thighs of someone else peeking out from under beige shorts. The girl, striding at her own, comfortable pace, trails a young boy. They happen into an area still unfamiliar to her. She stops, letting him turn at the corner of a yellow-stone house opposite the closed Boulangerie Jeanne-Pierre and disappear. Alone in a tiny square half-shadowed by fat, waxy magnolia leaves from a tree perched on a craggy, falling-down ledge, she tips her head sideways as though the stone, golden in late morning sun, had spoken to her.
The wind, almost held at bay, snakes in unseen, wisps past. Her body shivers then falls still. Her skin shiny, translucent, grown brown over the summer months, is now paling to olive in early fall. The air pungent with the sea, heady magnolia and its drying blooms.
She leans forward, touching the point of falling into air, but doesn’t. To hold the slant of such a line, the recollection of a scene from her book where an old man releases a goldfish into a green stream.