With Every Mistake We Must Surely Be

This morning, my friend of 30 years walked toward me in the library and whispered in my ear, “Dad’s dead.” His relationship with his father was, as so many of ours are, not without its complexities. I listened to him talk for half an hour, complicating my relationship with my job. Then I quoted a poet of our mutual acquaintance: Alice B. Talkless. Once there were many black kings, I said. Once there were many red kings, I said. There were many black holes full of things that did not fit.

“That’s me,” he laughed. “That’s me, that’s me.”

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