Ballade pour Regina Spectre

1.
Facts

Annouchka has already bought the sunflower oil. Her carelessness you have always said is amusing. You are amused by innocence, how silly. Yet the same innocence it is that must be plucked, you said, plucked lest it overgrow thee, lest it corrupt thee, lest it…

No: at age nine, ten, innocence becomes passé. It is no good pretending we are young at eleven. They give us chocolates, some give us flowers. I have to keep myself from laughing. At twelve my teeth were still new and shiny. At thirteen I was ready to die. But again no: how easy to mistake carelessness for innocence. Alone, you would castigate Annouchka for spilling the sunflower oil, trembling still from the sight of heads rolling on the pavement: the horror, the horror.

2.
More facts

City Girl: how old you were when we first met. I thought: we will never be together. I was right. You wore rags on wednesdays, $4000 Gucci dresses on thursdays, the rest of the week you hide in your room from the sunshine of New York (the best sunshine in the world) wrapped in a shawl.

For a short time I thought you’d be one of them supermarket poets the world have had too much of. The winter PM light never showed me your face, never reached us below; the winter PM light hid us from each other.

3.
Rinnetenshō, or Love is the answer to a question I have forgotten

Pepper me with Latin: your voice is most beautiful when I don’t understand you.

The
    other
        one:
            what was his name again?
I forgot darling.
            —had been eyeing you

like you’re a shiny green apple, a jar of pickles, a pineapple (do not pontificate about pineapples: why do you always pontificate about pineapples?).

His is a burglar’s eye.

I envy him for finding love in your face. I still haven’t found love love love or whatever it is I’ve been looking for. I’m still searching for love (perhaps I’ll never find it) and while I’m searching I’ll be happy to contemplate your face in the morning and dream of love love love and perhaps in the evening discover it.

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