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Image Problem

A strayed reveller or two, nothing unusual
for this time of year, zinnia season, yet one notices
the knocking in the walls at more frequent intervals.
One’s present enemies stir in the evening wind
and atypically avoid the dining room. After the big names
have grazed the steppe and moved on, a public silence
returns. Let it be the last chapter of volume one.

Some experts believe we return twice to what intrigued or
scared us, that to stay longer is to invite the egg
of deceit back to the nest. Still others aver
we are in it for what we get out of it, that it is wrong
not to play even when the stakes are spectacularly boring,
as they surely are today. The solution may therefore be
to narrow the zone of reaction to a pinprick
and ignore what went on before, even when we called it life,
knowing we could never count on it for comfort
or even a reference, the idea being to cut one’s losses
on the brink of winning. Sure, their market research told
them otherwise, and we got factored into whatever
profit-taking may be encumbering the horizon now,
as afternoon looms. We could ignore the warning signs,
but should we? Should we all? Perhaps we should.

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