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ANY PROMISE MADE / Liza Wieland January, and New York is blazing like the last jewel in the wise man's gift, and Tm walking north on Park Avenue, the Pan Am BuUding's forty story cross about to burn penance into my back. I don't want to, but I remember a night years ago, when the boy I loved introduced me to pornography: a movie so strange and so ugly I couldn't teU lovers from murderers, bodies from corpses. Every couple küled itself somehow, and he wouldn't let me leave. But when it was finaUy over; and I was back outside in the cold darkness of the city, and saw that cross, I cried for the sins of the whole world, past, present, future, and later that night, in a colder darkness on 88th Street, he made me promise to marry him. Here I am again on that same avenue. But tonight, the cross is bearable, the tears in my eyes are the wind's as it whips me uptown, its voice crying out the true dark secrets of this Ufe, of a world making a place for me, whose marble is fiUed with my veins, and whose beveUed edge I am, sloping towards Ught, a root that breaks through concrete, churning up gutters, sidewalks, streets, opening your heart so that the hot Ught inside it is better than any promise made on any street, between any two people, even between a man and a woman who have seen what no one should and have not turned their eyes away. The Missouri Review · 175 ...


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