Friday 6/20/2008 12:12:00 AM

At twelve years old she discovered herself. In the shadow of the clothes she'd taken off. It was years still before she would find there was a whole world out there. Beside herself. Full of girls better off without their clothes and men inclined to assist.

Say what you will about the lottery, someone wins.

Sure, everyone else loses. It's like life that way.

Not that dying would be any different.

Life after all, is merely the sum of the skins we're determined to wear and those that we're willing to discard. It's easier she's found if she can forget what she wants and focus on what she can have.

Dialogues in cream cheese. Soften too slowly. Villains say they know. They do.

Maybe everything. Perhaps nothing. It's not the answer that matters. It's how she arrives at it.

The garden still grows though she's not there to water it. The sun still burns though she hasn't seen it for years. In fits of arithmetic is how he touched her. In hernias of algebra is how they made love.

Integers of flesh extrapolating the sum of paradise from dead skin.

She was twelve years old, maybe thirteen when this big world finally began to make sense. She finally learned it wasn't about what she had. All that mattered was what was absent.

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