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March 2009, vol 5 no 1

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Billie Dee

Salzburg

Twilight shadows fill the room, but I stay seated at the writing desk, lights off. My fountain pen runs dry, and I merge with the sounds of early evening: the rasp of the green grocer's shutter chain, the dopplered crescendo-decrescendo of a minibus full of schoolgirls, an iPod leaking one ear-bud of Die Zauberflote. . . an hour slips by.

off-and-on drizzle
the doves on my windowsill
preen one another

I'm late. In the lift to the lobby, the ticket in my pocket feels brittle, remote. I follow my feet through the old center of the city. . . down the damp corridors of patience, along the boulevards of longing and abundance, through the night's high colonnaded arias. . . until, soundlessly, I enter that cathedral of solitary oneness, in love with the dreaming world that rolls toward me like a golden ball.

after Mozart
the rhythm of motorbikes
on wet cobblestones

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