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European ritual


when a late breeze

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opens the trees,

I think of summer

evenings in Europe,

how we opened our windows

to let the heat escape.

Everyone would lean

on their windowsills

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like portraits of angels

propped up on clouds.

Across the street

we watched each other

watching day's retreat -

the sun swooning down

like a red kite,

houses stepping back

to keep from falling

into shadow.

But eventually,

shadow swallowed everything -

flowers, fences, trees -

even our window,

with us still in it.

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