It’s a hot, nasty Chicago afternoon. I watch Mom enter the yard through the alley. Crab apples are rotting. Worms are ecstatic. She’s dialoguing with a breeze and she’s clearly pissed at the sun. She’s drunk.

“Oh, honey.” She’s come from a smoky, black-windowed kafana where she learned the barmaid’s son was born with his bladder outside his body, and rushed to America on an emergency visa, where the doctors fixed his bladder but left him with a stub of a penis.

“The kid is fourteen, and he has a girlfriend. All he wants is a penis, God bless him! We’re gonna raise the money. Whaddayou say? We’ll put on a grand gala.”