My Name was Supposed to be Elizabeth Ann

— Stories from the Roads (Not) Taken

Before Everyone discovered Someone’s bones,  Someone stored their faces in a box in a drawer in the middle of their dresser and,  mornings when they awoke, tried on each in turn, discarding each facsimile as smallish or loose or lacking in some necessary, elusive detail  heard about but never seen (like unicorns or potted gold), …

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Behind three-starred glass, we swirl pinot while my shade approaches the crowded intersection. Mousy hair, thin-soled Keds. A backpack, frayed, beats an awkward tempo as she scans facades and faces. Awaits the signal forward. On green, she crosses to me. Presses palms to mine, reflected.   I want to rush into the twilight. To console her. …

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