Pari suddenly stopped singing. “Amir, look,” she shouted, grabbing my arm.

The green waves of the Caspian Sea grew up in slow motion, the sun dwindling in this watery horizon. Pari and I had been walking on the shore, enjoying the sweet honey moon we never took, our feet sinking in our footsteps. Where were our kids? She kicked the sand, her bare legs drenched in dirt, her white dress stained with orange spots. “You’ll catch a cold,” I told her and she turned to me, shaking her head. “How could you still care about me, after what I’ve done?” she asked and I wrapped my arm around her waist, kissing her shoulder, making out in public the way we’d never done: unashamed, immoral. I couldn’t recognize myself. My hair had grown down to my shoulders like a dervish, and Pari looked exactly like the first day we met at their house, wearing the same black sormeh.

I ran my fingers over her face and my touch broke up her skin in a speedy way. She rubbed her arms and her legs obsessively, and blood turned her nails red. “It wasn’t your fault,” I said and she hid her face in my chest, making noises, maybe crying, maybe cursing. I pulled her to me but she was stuck to the ground, her feet draped in layers of black seaweed, making her looking like a big daisy. “I can’t take it anymore,” she said, taking off her dress. Blood dripped between her thighs and penetrated the earth. “I’m losing another baby,” she said, tossing her old sharp rod to the sea. It flew away and disappeared in the biggest wave, rising with arrogance, as if it would have never fallen down. We watched the giant wall approaching in no rush. “Is it the last one?” she asked and I understood what she meant.

I pressed my lips against her back. She was cold like death. “Only God knows,” I said. “He gives life and takes it away and we’d never know why. Never question his wisdom.”

Pari looked up. “Bull shit,” she said and I followed her gaze. The Caspian Sea hovered over us. We were in the hollow of a gigantic wave, lost in the wastelands of Kerman, trapped in the reflection of our own mirage. Pari laughed. “I’m not scared of your God,” she said and it was her last words before the tunnel of water around us lost all its loops of survival and I watched Pari rolling and floating, the withdrawing wave setting her free. My lungs filled up with loneliness, my hands still holding onto her seaweed roots.