The back wall of the room is covered by a cabinet, gleaming like steel, containing not photographs of the dead but their cell tissue, frozen in a state of incipient putrefaction. The pathologist pulls out a box that slides easily on rails, and you see: lying there is the man you spoke to in a hotel room a couple of days ago; he sat on a checked coverlet and you talked about gardening, almost black roses whose leaves crumble in your hands if you touch them. The smell of death attacks your eyes. You wipe the froth from the corners of your mo uth, set yourself down to lie beside him, and ask the pathologist to lock you into the cabinet. Under the crackling fluorescent tube you remember that you once knew a song. He is singing it, quiet, so you can hear.