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Of course, I pack them how it makes sense. First, the brown paper bag that used to hold horsetail, eyebright. I place Charles in, as the biggest. You can drink him like a tincture, diluted over five-hundred pages. Hera, too. Each leaf wide enough to hold Ubers, diamonds, glass basketballs. I wrap her in bubbles, separate her from Clare’s swelling green cover, barely holding back the flood.

The second gush caught in H&M’s white plastic. Sylvia’s slow horse alone except for Wilfred and Kim. O Beauty! O bowl of sugar! O let us stay dry, splaying dust jackets for shelter. We’ll ask ourselves if it is best, if it is better to let ourselves melt.
The last bag defrosts slowly – Sharon’s run of seasons; Peter’s snow days, Fred’s cavernous, gritty concert hall, full of metal and men shouting.

Rupi travels alone as an empty buff envelope, a dotted line of ‘place book here’ already loaned out and not returned. Sitting on the desk of my oldest friend’s ex.

All packed, I saddle this load on my back – a hologram of slick fabric, semi-waterproof, pulling at the seams. We’re off. Off where?


Records for Lydia Allison

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