It never ceased to amaze him when grown women, women with husbands and children, acted like they were vestal virgins. His own sisters pulled that one on him all the time, or at least they had when they were still actually treating him like a human being, before he’d had to sell his house and business in Cape Cod and move in with friends.
In the temple’s farthest corner
an olive tree stands,
silver-green leaves like a shawl,
its trunk braided
down into the ancient earth:
You are witnessed by it.
A boat hums by, and the fisherman
An ocean opens within you,
makes your body a shore
upon which memory crashes—
There was one last buzz, then Greene pulled himself reluctantly up off the sofa. As I watched him cross the living room, the part of my mind still working in slow motion pictured the door opening, the gunmen entering and shooting Greene (professionals, with silencers), then noticing me and shooting me too, with some surprise but with no regret. I thought of the headlines the next day: STRANGE WOMAN MURDERED WITH FAMOUS AUTHOR IN RIVIERA APARTMENT.
“I’ve said that I have a love-hate relationship with the institute of higher learning, but I’m not opposed to scholarship. A poet is a scholar. I really believe that you should know not just your own age, but other ages.”
The first time my father tried to kill me I was seven. We had driven to the Miracle Mile strip mall at the edge of the city where Dad said he had to see a man about a horse. I sat in the backseat and when we parked Dad got out and told me he’d only be a minute. He rolled up the windows and locked the doors.
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