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An Open Coffin

General Estiano hired me to take care of the body, but he avoids speaking to me. The only times we did talk was by telephone, when he insisted that this job would require my full attention and care. “A family matter,” he said, “I’m sure you will understand.” What awaited me in the front room […]

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Children of Air

And it is but a child of air That lingers in the garden there. —Robert Louis Stevenson Welcome to the park. There is a path from the sidewalk through the close-cropped grass, a white marble fountain with seven slender bronze swans that shoot water from their beaks, and a bench inside a small green marble […]

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Seventy-Seven

(translated by David Bowles) August 1995. Independencia, Santiago de Chile. She knew every noise in the house. The lethargic creaking of the pipes during the night, that constant tapping of plum tree branches in the backyard, the beams of the terrace swelling with temperature changes, the window frames when touched by the first rays of […]

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My House Is Out Where the Lights End

Jay approaches the old farmhouse with her sunglasses and the radio off. She wants to see it and hear it clearly. In her memory it looms so huge, so loud and technicolor, that she’s sure she’ll be overwhelmed by it. But it’s been abandoned for years now, and the bright painted boards are faded and […]

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