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Irish Linen Arielle Greenberg

If you’d been more of a boat in a bottle, our department secretary might have stopped his game of Solitaire and married you and kept you in his dark little father-in-law of a house. As it is, you are a lace hankie in a pocket belonging to a grey ghost, and already married, and kept in a dark little Jesus of a house by the river. In both lives you are festooned with cats. In both lives you light up every night, a fireworks of pity and dust and beautiful noises, looking out the glass with a sigh. The map to it all is so yellowed and lovely, with all those Xs.

But I want more for you. More might involve happiness. Happiness might involve stepping out of the bottle. I have a button in my pocket, a safety pin on my sleeve, a hankie stuffed in my cuff that says you can do it. On an island somewhere, the parrots are singing your pirate name.