These are random lines from the short story “Livvie.”

This was the way he looked in his clothes,
a different and smaller man, holding
his Bible. Like somebody kin to himself.

He was the same to her as if he was dead,
far away in his sleep—small, relentless,
and devout. Outside, the ground
scarred in deep whorls, every vestige
of grass patiently uprooted.

Even old men dreamed
about something pretty.

Like a commotion in the room,
the frogs sung out. In Solomon’s face,
came an animation that could
play hide and seek, that would dart
and escape, had always escaped.

The mystery flickered in him,
invited from his eyes, frightened her
a little, as if he might carry her
with him that way,
when he might be going to die.

She could be so still she could not
hear herself breathe. She did not think
of that, tasting the chicken broth
on the stove, gently as if not to disturb
some whole thing he held round
in his mind, like a fresh egg.

Now I lay eyes on a young man,
Old Solomon far away in his sleep,
walking somewhere where she could
imagine the snow falling.

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