A box arrived with an Iowa postmark and bearing a long letter sealed with wax. She
drew a picture of the small figure she had included- it was like a hamster or a gerbil,
she said, but also something entirely imagined. Already on the voyage its long tail
had split into sections. I stared into the scratches marking its eyes and could not bear
to name it and make it knowable. Now it sits on my school desk, legs curled beneath
its flank, and waits for the day to come when I will need comforting. Clay emblem.