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The Bolt, Jean-Honore Fragonard, 1778

Across the house of renouncing doves, moon’s light has shaped tonight like the roof of my estranged lover.

All the years in between now erased having dissolved in the reappearance of the shade of moon only we knew.

It is folly to return to the same unlit street where the lovers hide, where creatures of river bring a tear to his eyes,

to think that remembrance of the soft feathers is evidence of promise of union, a reunion,

or that abandonment then was a needed escape for the freedom of lives to follow, for myths to stay alive.

It is folly to sit and wonder about the truth and justice of our embrace, about the disease and phobia of our demise.

How futile this memory is. How insignificant our letters, our stones. How rapidly eroding our betrayed hands.

And yet when the moon’s light tonight takes the contour of our dreams, I hum our first song.

I decide to partake once again in our becoming. Of seas that couldn’t get lost in the flames of each other.

Vaishali Paliwal

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