That time I was in London, I went to an elegant dinner for which the chef assembled a roast turkey inside of which was lodged a goose, inside of which was a duck that housed a chicken that contained a game hen—all of them boned and served with a dark, tart currant sauce. I think of that dinner, of the chef slicing through the five fowl, when I imagine what kind of woman you like. A woman who contains a series of surprises? There are clues in the women you have had, though the thought of asking you what you like is like the team of artists who hired a marketing firm to find out what Americans want in a painting. The artists painted the result of the poll which found that what we want is a blue painting the size of a dishwasher with a biblical figure and landscape.

Amy Hempel, “Tumble Home”, in Tumble Home