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It was a lusty last hour of summer just ahead of the autumnal equinox. The sun pressing down hard on the inhabitants of our new city, when I dropped off a couple manuscripts at the post office, one guy drove up bare-chested on his motorcycle flashing an excellent tattoo replica of that self-same star. On the way home a woman walked down State dragging a mane of hair so long her head bent back as if under pressure of a tumpline. Way too beautiful out, I skipped the brown-bag noon-time lecture at the library hightailing back home to get her down to the eastern end of the wharves where abandoned pilings at low tide look like rows of Chinese soldiers uncovered thirty years ago in Emperor Qin’s tomb. When we drove in, the shipyard workers on their half-hour lunch break couldn’t take their eyes off her. The Polar Adventure out of Long Beach, California towered over the cruise ship Realm of the Sea. We counted down the minutes toward the equinox at exactly twelve-thirty, then the seconds, as small as anchovy bones, making that much the most of summer, so that no time at all was lost.



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