I told the cops Joan of Arc fell. I said yes, I was there. I saw him fall. Nobody touched him.

Sonny told me he hadn't touched him.

One cop said, "If the victim fell, who moved the body? Who cleaned up the blood?"

It was much later, into the earliest hours of morning, when Sonny used the hose from around the side of the building and ran water over the fender of his car until the blood drying there was gone. He ran water over the ground, over the spot left where Sonny and Tino had moved Joan of Arc. They put Joan on top of his shopping cart and pushed Joan away from the building.

I said, "But that's not murder, is it? Moving a body or washing a car?" I wanted to think it made sense.

What animal would keep a dead body by its nest? It was brain chemicals, working poorly. I saw Sonny at the edge of the roof. I saw Joan in my dress, Joan's face as he tried to catch his balance.

The cop said, "Just tell us what you remember."

And I thought of the man who couldn't help but remember everything. His whole life was a movie that never stopped replaying. He became crazy, inarticulate and antisocial, with no ability to forget.

Forgetting is both a luxury and a necessity. My memory was unclear.

This was the opposite of the V of geese flying that I saw through the window over the cop's shoulder. Nobody was benefiting from association. I'd never go back to the building. My belongings would become a collection in the basement with a masking-tape label named Lindeen, next to Jamie, up to Tracy's management, buried under the basement's dust.


Monica Drake is a fiction writer living in Portland. You probably recognize her name because she contributes book reviews to The Stranger. Being the limelight-sharing type, Monica would like to thank a few people for their help in putting together Bones in the Garden at breakneck speed: Stevan Alred, Kassten Alonso, Suzi Vitello, Candy Mulligan, Chuck Palahniuk, Kevin Burke, Corianne Woodward, and Cheryl Janisse. Monica's first novel, Silverfish, is seeking a publisher.