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I was an observer of longing. Caught the glint from the green
harbor light and argued for love. I was the delicate dictator, sipping
Gin Fizz and spilling champagne. Sleek shoes spattered by night-
wet grass, cars that looked like carriages. Wondering when you
had gone up the staircase to the uncut library. Someone bustled
inside the butler's pantry, someone laughed like a bell on the lawn.
I was a hopeless suitor, clutching the hem of your long blue skirt,
offering you cigarettes. There was the tale of perfection and the
tale of disaffection. They mingled like guests until they could not
be divided. I was the storyteller, stumbling on separation. Along
the lakeshore silted with lights, a hand running along a spine. You
were absent at your own celebration, called away to the juniper
grove. Fingers ringed with glass. You said your own voice was full of
pennies; I scoured the grounds until I learned what you meant.

Hillary Gravendyk

The Soluble Hour

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