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She died before I was born, having destroyed the last traces of herself—diaries, photographs, letters—in a fury of flames.
Only once did my grandfather speak of her—the woman that he betrayed. He pressed a cameo in my palm. "Your grandmother" he said after awhile, dismissing me by abruptly turning away.
I stroke the profile of a coral face with wavy hair streaming beyond her shoulders. How I long to know this stranger in silhouette.
I step into a shadow