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Open Ending

ISSUE:  Winter 1985
It begins with shimmering props:
two glasses of liebfraumilch
and the moon or a candle sputters put
and erases the auburn glints
on her head nodding yes. He twirls
the gold bracelet she wears,
touches her for the first time.

Later, in another room, his hands press
like silence over her ears.
Her body retains the feel of his the way
a leather glove, removed, holds
the shape of its wearer.
He dreams of home: how flat
Illinois is, how smooth Lake Michigan
would be, if he could slip across it
on his bike. The miscellany
on the table by the bed shatters
in the light. A bracelet.
His keys. The digital clock.

She repeats his name to herself
until it is only syllables that fall
off of him. There is a mole in the small
of his spine. In two or three days
she’ll wake with a cold
and wonder if he, pedaling
across a silver lake, has one too.
A small loss—this is what
she wants. Over and over again.


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