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Ocean from shore under dark sky

Farewell to Douala

Sex. Brutality. Animal faces. Wrathful oceans. Rickety boats. Stupid men who robbed my human rights. Insecure love affairs. Floating corpses’ love affairs. Am I also a floating corpse? What else?

Debut

I waited for Nathan to pass his gaze over me and smile, fumbling for a compliment and finding none. Instead, he put a hand over his heart and dropped his jaw. “And look at you! My god, Andy—isn’t she the spitting image of Björk?”

Revision

Thirty years ago, when she was first here with her husband and two young children, they’d come in the summer—June—so that Otto could teach a study abroad course, and the city then was a lush racket of color. The pale blue and pink and gold ornamental bric-a-brac of Belle Époque architecture. Stoops cluttered with terra cotta pots spilling herbs. Window box gardens bursting geraniums the startling florescent red of she-didn’t-know- what. It was all exactly as she’d envisioned Paris since she’d first wanted to go as a sixteen-year-old sitting in a high school French class.

Happy Like This

Hope misses the city, and I miss Hope. So every other weekend I buy a bottle of wine and drive up the valley to see her and Little Girl in their new suburban home, where they live with Hope’s boyfriend, a pilot.