When the poet arrived, I did believe that a great and true beginning came with her. Certainly, it had to be so. I opened the door and there she stood, with a cluster of hazy jellyfish clouds floating in the jewel-bright sky behind her.
This is the beginning of the story, I thought. It could be published in some serious-minded magazine with monochrome photos of rusted bicycles.
“It’s really you,” I said.
“The very woman who penned the Tendril Sonnets,” I said.
“It seems unlikely, I know. Even to me,” she said.
We said these things over the barking of a neighborhood dog. A truck was backing up somewhere, signaling its movement with a persistent, rhythmic alarm. Such apt atmospherics.
But all the background was foreground too because of this: the poet had a hideous face, a cherry-pigmented discoloration curved across her concave cheeks and half…
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