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73 To Fill the House In our first days, in the house which held nothing beyond a mattress and reclining chair you bought secondhand and scarred, we had an abundance of May: while we slept by the open window, iris pointed from soil on dancers’ legs, shivered in the summer wind. A raw-silk wall of fennel swept the dust from the day’s edges. Afternoons, I brought tulips inside—cut them with a blunt knife, slipped as many as would fit into the mouths of empty wine bottles. I filled the house, pigmented each shadowed corner with yellows beyond believing. We lay awake in the red evenings that turned warmer by hours, late sun painted our bodies pied shades as it ran through green bottles, blue leaves. We hardly noticed when colder air brushed us, when nights began a rush to darkness. You didn’t see the crocus retract its color as a bird pulls in its wings. I didn’t understand the way things fold into themselves: touch your hand to your face, turn with a sheet slung around your hips, and a green limb tucks itself into a dark bulb as earth closes around each brightness. ...


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