Inside the tropical greenhouse, Blue Morphos fluttered their wings of light and clung to her. She always wore blue to attract them. When the Morphos were two weeks old, they started dying, flying into things, tattering their wings. Sometimes they would not let her go.

Her sister-in-law flashed a diamond nose-ring. She desired a diamond and borrowed one from the village jeweler. At home, the woman became ill. She locked the diamond up with Lakshmi and her other household gods. When she recovered weeks later, she traded the diamond for her birthstone, topaz.

The anesthetized man rose from the surgery table and grabbed the young nurse around the waist. The last time a man surprised her like that she was dancing at a biker bar in a copper ghost town.

The surgeon took the pink-scrubbed nurse under the wing of his caduceus jacket. During a liposuction procedure, she held a draped woman’s thigh for the surgery. She thought about 19th century cleansing practices by bleeding patients with leeches.

His Egyptian tongue hissed sweet sibilance when he introduced himself. After, she was charmed, hearing him teach art theory through their adjoining wall.

The woman preacher came to the girl’s house and laid flaming hands on her. She fervently prayed that the girl’s womb would remain tightly sealed until her wedding night. Decades later, in psychotherapy, she traced her infertility to this event.

The rocking subway lulled her into a relaxed state. She remained conscious of her surroundings because a strange man was hypnotizing women and stealing their 24-carat gold bangles.