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Perfect, which I Will Describe in Sixteen Lines.

the color of hair rinse that comes off on the pillowcase. My grandparents slept in separate beds on separate floors of the house, my grandma kept her shoes in the original boxes, I hid a cookie behind the couch because I wanted to rescind desire. Who painted over that woodwork? Who smashed the glass Christmas tree and invented stars? That green smell of hickory nuts we'd squeeze in the vice until they'd release their perfumes, the smell of hot asphalt and bullfrogs flattened by tractors. Did people wear deodorant then, did we bind our braids with rubber bands, did we sprinkle sugar on the graves, did we scale the fence and ride the cemetery horses, were their manes like the hair of British fashion models? The sky is large but limited, my life is dainty as that crucifix on a chain as fine as a long, silver hair my parents bought me for Christmas the year they decided we would need religion and a dog. The old woman stole the crucifix, people turn into pack rats or crows and cram artificial teeth into their mouths, the dog lived for awhile, then slid under the wheels of a school bus the color of sunset, not sixteen lines but seventeen, not poppies but hollyhocks, the purple black ones into which birds fly and disappear
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Author:Seuss, Diane
Publication:New Orleans Review
Article Type:Short story
Date:Dec 1, 2009
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