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--- F R A N K   M A T A G R A N O

No one in the waiting room saw what happened, an eight year old near the elevator bank caught a glimpse, shouting, "Mommy, an angel," barged past the nurses' desk, past a walker folded and propped against the wall. With eight wings he rushed down the hall, the boy counted eight, I counted twenty four months and ten trips from E104th and 2nd -- grandma's legs bent odd in the bucket seat, wheelchair packed in the trunk -- to the Evergreen Salon in Bergenfield when hair was still there to dye. I call it "pretty," how everything, just everything, reduced itself to that one event: jaw pried, mouth wide, black, the clean arm of an at-will angel, white sleeve rolled, fist rammed down her cancerous throat.

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