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History of a Marriage

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Sometimes the moon is pink and I think of
you in your moon-colored dress, with quiet
rose petal lips, pearls hung loosely round
your neck. Midsummer heat oppresses me,
does not hinder you, you twirl away the
night in tiny slippers, music drifting
from the party inside—mon papillon,
they sing, ma chère dame. I see starlight
in your eyes that twinkle like fireflies,
the afterglow of sunset fading fast.

Your tranquil smiles and sweet looks humble
my heart, for you are as lovely as the
moon, then you beckon for me to join you.
I’m shy, you’re not, you’re elegant, with a
sense of serenity, a certain grace
that you carry in light steps, flicks of the
wrist, easy spins: you’re a natural born
dancer. Are you a good lover too? I
wonder—the picture crumbles, and you, your
laughing face, the ribbon in your hair, fade.

There you are now, still with me, sitting in
your old chair across the room, stroking the
little tabby cat on your lap, reading
a book by the lamplight, the room silent,
uncomfortable. The same moon shines outside,
I see you as you are—how you’ve changed! Frail,
plain, your old grace and loveliness all gone.
You never dance anymore. There’s nothing
left but a worthless memory, for, I
say, aren’t all girls lovely when they’re young?





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