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Family History

Those in her family
who die young die of
despair. She tried to
explain it to me:
"They just lie
in bed and waste
away. No cause of
death is found. It's
very much like
those birds
that perish upon
the death of their mates."

She needn't have
described it. When
people ask me
how her relatives
died, I say,
They look at me
like I am lying or
mad, as if there
is something in the human body
that holds it
together after the
soul has wasted

The people in
my family who die
young die
of bullets in brains
or nooses
they make themselves.
Her family is
romantic. Mine is
impatient. Our children
commit suicide
before they are born.

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