her frayed diary told the story of unseen trapdoors and fairy-tale castles in the air

also of her truculent atonement for thieving Ptolemy’s polished iron looking glass

a scribbled note saying just, ‘Sorry’ mailed to Alexandria of yore; no postage stamp

the testament of an angry old god, and journeying the beaten path, well-nigh travelled

allegories the both of them, objectivity her contradiction, truth measured in chronology

recalcitrance her contentious virtue, such were the ways of his blinkered sweet historian

‘a no nonsense gentleman and a fly by night waif, a recipe for romance’ her rule of thumb

that ‘there is a beast in every cul-de-sac; a devil behind each door’ told of her cold sweat life

a tailor-made chronicler of fabrication, of event and substance reinterpreted from times’ annals

as he swept through the pages of her own account of her life a thought smacked him in the face

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