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The Papergirl 

Last night after the rain I trailed my neighbor
through the dark park, watched him tip up
wet cans with his foot and inspect
the empty pavilion on the hill.
He looked into the light of every puddle
and each blossom of trash in the brush
while I glided among the trees unseen.
Then down Abbey Street he wandered,
shushing all the dogs with the palm
of his hand and it was as if
he beckoned me.
Beneath the unlit sign of Bea’s Diner,
he knelt and scooped parking lot sand
into small piles that might cradle
votive candles. Crossing East Chapel,
he drew into the woods themselves
and I lost him there. All night
I waited, feeling the dew gather
on my arms and the freeway roar,
and only a fat opossum came forth
with his raw nose and bare tail
turning up trash and devouring.
Dawn found me disheveled
on my front step, the object
of a knowing look from the papergirl.

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