In Shanghai, she bought me a fist-sized bamboo cage with a cricket inside. She said it sang only when it was lonely. I hung it up in my bedroom, next to the bed still embroidered with her shadow. At night, the cricket kept knitting its noise. Her hair was long when I loved her & short when she left. One day I woke up & my grandmother was in the kitchen frying the cricket in a peppered pan & I thought it was better that way, for the cricket to be swallowed & carried inside a body so that it would never know lonely.