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Slate
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Published: Tue Apr 15 2003
Night reading mode 

Slate

My too-sharp lefts kept making the bundle in back
sluice right. I was driving with the dead Nance
in the truck bed. The gas gauge didn’t work
so there was an added worry of running
out of juice. Her word. Her word one
windy evening with the carpets
stripped from a floor, which
surprised us as stone—slate
from the quarry we were
headed to now, but Let’s first have us
some juice, she’d said then, barefoot on bare slate.

The truck-bedded Nance, wrapped in her winding sheet,
thuds left, clunks right. I’m sorry about my driving,
sorry about the million lovely pine moths mottled
on my windshield. Thank God, here’s the quarry,
and there’s the high ledge, where, as a girl long
ago, she’d stepped bravely from the white
towel and stared down. Then she’d held her nose
and leapt out into it—this same cool and radiant air.

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