Oxana is Ukrainian. Pedro is from Portugal. Oxana’s family betrays her. Pedro betrays his family. She leaves, but cannot escape her micro or macro past. She runs from her family and finds Pedro. Pedro is soft. Oxana is razor sharp. Pedro runs from each and every albatross. They merge benignly. Family members die. The past lives. Oxana searches for paternal guidance. Pedro searches for a path. The nations and families mirror and complement one another. They destroy themselves, and destroy one other, unclean but not collectable.The story begins:“Oxana’s serving apron lay stained and soiled, a toiler’s trophy. She ensnares her on –the-house, end-of-shift cup with smoldering caprice, slowly adding more clumpy chunks of sugar to the flat, foamless latte. She waits. She sips. Oxana sneaks a second black and white cookie. She gulps. She is waved into the back office by Nazar, the café’s perspiring owner. He looks down at his gleaming watch and shimmering phone, evading any and all eye contact. A crisp white envelope of crumpled Ukrainian Hryvnya is slid across the faux-wooden desk. The paper feels finger, looking right and left with the trepidation of a bread thief. Oxana’s head tilts shamefully downward. Nazar silently shoos her away, scratching his sweaty bald temples and motioning her out onto Halych Street and into Ivano-Frankivsk’s Ploshcha Rynok (the main Market Square of Ivano–Frankivsk, a city in Western Ukraine of nearly 250,000 residents). Oxana pursed pouch rests closely to her breast. New skirts, high heels, first proper stockings and daubs of French cosmetics flutter through her brain and body. The Market Square runway awaits her. Threadbare but clean shoes step onto and off of Trolley-Bus 147, whisking Oxana up musty, Soviet steps. The concrete, dark and misshapen, barely lit, and stained with perpetual piss puddles and graffiti strokes, absorbs oceans of despair and soaks up specs of patriarchal blood. The front door to the family flat teeters, unhinged, closed but open. Oxana enters. Her mother’s hands cup her sodden face, rocking her shaking head and torso up and to the left and down and to the right, back up and down again and again. Her tattered house dress and stained red hands mirror the splattered face of her husband. Oxana’s father lies on the floor, left eye pulverized and exanimate, asymmetrical to the right, caved and limp. Oxana explodes.”The father dies and the story begins.