He said you’re wonderful. She said midnight. Rain. Rickety, thickety, clump. Pa spitter spa pat on the air vent over the Wedgewood. She said real. She said fiddlers and engineers. She said growing old hurts. No blue, no peach, just midnight. Freezing. Rain. Dry. Dust. She said touch me, holding her fingers against her argument on his lips, her fingers holding his lips quiet. She said touch me before I disappear. She said touch me.

She said sixteen. She said menopause, my plans. She said I hadn’t intended. She said now what? She said I don’t know if I . . . She said weak coffee. She said cheap wine. She said thirty minutes. She said sons and daughters. She said let’s go home. She said I warned you. She said let’s go home, it’s going to rain. Dark will come. Midnight. Rickety splickety. Pa splatter. Ba ba ba thump. She said it may rain, I am afraid, let’s go home.

He said no melodrama, only light romance. She said I don’t do light romance. She said the sound in the throat. She said the melancholy sound the poet will never know. She said the hero. She said the sound in the bottom of the throat. Dust. Dust. Dust.

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