I keep on crying while she sighs, my head pressed hard against the porcelain. ‘Do you remember Esperanto?’ she says. I try to respond but my neck’s bent wrong and my mouth keeps making this gluggy, short-cut sound like a wail that’s been harpooned mid moan. ‘It’s dead now,’ she tells the ceiling, ‘nobody used it.’ The faucet dribbles and the air vent mutters. ‘Language is universal, only there’s no universal language.’ Somewhere behind her words is the white noise humming of electric beetles thrumming through our walls. ‘Funny, I just don’t understand you.’ My ducts feel dry.

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