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[One small door, his question]

Boyer Rickel

One small door, his question

opened onto the patio. His voice

the weight of morning

on patio stones; the light through trees

decanted, as a thought might

into a system of sounds.

I didn’t know what to say, just

an image. The pale blue-green

rosettes—succulents, like

bruised fists—clinging

to the hill on the road to that

seaside town whose name neither

of us could pronounce. Perhaps

I’d heard the question wrong. Perhaps

he didn’t expect my departure.

Boyer Rickel

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