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It was her duty to identify opposites. Why she had been placed here. On t h i s
earth. In this city. On the mattress where we were when she removed her
blouse, nearly transparent, supine beside me. What was the opposite of a kiss?
Being alone on a train platform at night in an unknown city, sallow beauty
fading. The opposite of our bodies tangled together was sparrows in endless
storms with no branch on which to nest. I leaned in close enough to feel the rise
and fall of her stomach, which had gone skinny in Manhattan. The opposite of
leaving right now is staying forever; she would miss her flight if she didn’t rise
up from bed this very moment and wrap herself in denim, the blouse, her dead
ex-boyfriend’s jacket that kept out the chill. She placed her mouth to my
forehead in farewell, an act of clemency, dismissal. This was the antonym of
falling in love— what was the opposite of the motion that a body makes when it
walks through a doorway for the very last time?