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119 Places Real and Imagined Holly Simonsen I’ve loved the imagery of place so arrogantly I diagnosed myself a topophiliac: fallen apples returning to earthy orchard soil, fields of wheat bearing the weight of early snowfall, the unpredictable arrival of my barn owl friend who I would wake for and follow until his hoot was speared by pine needles and grew too faint to hear. Lately, however, I am having trouble remembering the spiritual silence of snowstorm, or seeing the tiny prisms explode in rain-splash. Instead, my mind flits in and out of dreamscape: I’m at the corner of an imagined street (somehow always named Lexington) and the cusp-edge of the world. Balancing in ballet slippers on a tall stack of leather-bound classics, the sun crowns my head in white light. You are standing in sprouts of green field and seem small enough to carry in my pocket. You look at me with an eyebrow cocked in skepticism. Come closer, I call. My beard is only made of bees. Walk slowly and they won’t sting. ...


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