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Sarah J. Sloat

Miniature City

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Waiting is a weed that promises blossoms. It endures the worst conditions, growing even near the end of the road.

In the bookstore, there's a customer who regularly reads the last page before deciding on a book, then finds the experience spoiled:

The vines are thwacked. The step-mother dies. Making his rounds, the hunter comes. Or doesn't.

But life's not a peephole.

Most of the time you are the little man hunched in the snowglobe waiting for a shake.
Here goes nothing, you say, angling into an anticipated wind.

Outside the warehouse, the bus stop bench sits in a tangle of mayweed. You lean back. If not for the search lights, these clouds wouldn't be lit like this, from underneath.

The fields fill, and the trees and the housetops, and the chimneys choke. And the bricks turn red and there's a heady scent of something that is not smoke.

It's the slow city you built in a bottle that makes these blossoms possible.

Die Taube

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One regret I have about not having been born a man is never being called a gentleman.

On top of regrets about being born.

Marlene Dietrich said of Meryl Streep: 'In the old days such an ugly person would have played the maid, or not even have gotten a screen test.'

Everyone lives under an assumed name.

The character was described as having "abominable teeth," which I misread as "abdominal teeth."

In German the pigeon and the dove are the same thing, die Taube.

When you chose a name for your child, was it a name you once wished for yourself?
(luise gudrun josefina)

For years after Albert Camus died his car was housed in the garage of a mechanic he'd been friendly with. It was a 1955 Citroen that Camus had named Penelope.

I told them I didn't care if he wrote like an angel. An angel wouldn't write anything I'd want to read.

Everything holds up a mirror, while the mirror holds up a door.

'Comme tout le monde je m'appelle Erik Satie.' - Erik Satie


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Like the funeral industry we gave it our all.
Henry smoothed the spackle while I was
chided for bringing more tinder
than timber, for splurging on a persian
rug, maroon and mineral blue,
we'd never see once dragged into the dark.
It's true I loved rough luxe. Of such romance
I was accused and I confessed - euphemism, birch
beer, anemone:
some words I didn't want to give up.
We daubed and wattled with all our might.
Deep inland, the mud caked tight;
it fisted and grimaced. Filling the chinks
between splints let no light in.
But Henry thought of everything.
His genius piece was the chimney, so tall
it formed a snorkel, climbing the western wall.
I came in mourning crepe, prized in those days
as camouflage more stable than a married name.
In the end we believed in everything.
When there was nothing more we named it
truce, and knew that would have to do.
Just before we sealed the door, a flock
of zeppelins sailed across sunset's alchemy
and it was hard not to think of whales,
although by then there were
no whales left to think.

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