My boss asked me to proofread his father’s eulogy. Corneas swelling, I focus on his terror of the comma, insert them liberally in the tirade. They hadn’t spoken in three decades. I tighten the grammar like screws on the casket he’ll never see. He won’t be reading it aloud. Its dry papers will be sent to the grieving: the cheap orange envelope the edge of its reach. His father died among the citrus groves of the West Coast. Why his son— forty-nine, braces on corn-niblet teeth— ever came to this cold city is beyond me. He bitches when the scarves come out. How do we get so far away? If we could come to an agreement on the pronunciation of diaspora, I might be able to get some sleep. The words blur, undulate over the page like some sick fluid. I go into his office to ask if I can take the word “fucking” out of the phrase “he was fucking nuts.” I got his life story: a continuing saga, a masticated paper bag. I watch his screensaver float— photographs of himself, the cigars he just learned how to smoke appearing in one shot after the next. I move my fingers across brittle keys. Letters crush themselves against the glass like bedbugs, like rain. I wish they made music when I pressed them: little songs for those who can’t hear them.