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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 19, 2016

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Submitted: September 19, 2016



We are each of us
the center of the universe,
Dalya said,
our universe.

I watched her sitting
on the bar stool
at base camp
outside Hamburg,
her dark hair
tied back
in a bun,
her eyes on me.

How are we
the center
of the universe?
I said.

We each perceive
the universe
through our senses
and conceive
with our minds,
we cannot know this
without our senses
and our mind,
she said.

She crossed her legs,
her tight skirt
showing thigh.

I think I read something
like that
in the Solzhenitsyn book
I'm reading,
I said,
turning my eyes
from her thigh
to meet her
dark eyes.

What book's that?
She said.

She lit up a cigarette
and offered one to me
which I took
and she lit mine
with her cigarette.

The Gulag Archipelago,
I said,
it's back in my bag
in my tent,
I'll show you later.

Show me what
in your tent?
She said smiling.

The book,
I said,
unless you want
to see anything else.

She smiled:
have to see
how it goes
won't we,
she said.

It's a depressing book,
I said.

What's it about?
she said.

About Russian
labour camps
between 1918 until 1958,
I said.

Light reading, then,
she said,
why read that it
if it's so depressing?

Sometimes you
have to read
depressing things
to get at the truth,
I said.

Want a beer?
She said.

I nodded,
she ordered two
German beers.

we sat
and talked of other things,
and I eyed her thigh
whenever I could,
wondering if she'd
come to my tent
later that night,
if things were quiet
and all was all right.

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