Excerpt, Mark Doty

“Desire brings us back. My exuberant, golden new dog, racing down the  sand slopes of the Beech Forest toward me, sheer embodiment of eagerness, given over entirely to running, wind streaming his long ears back, his eyes filling with me. The roses in June, which deck the front of this house in a flaring pink crescendo of bloom, old roses, dense flowerheads packed with petals, with handsome and evocative names: Eden, Constance Spry, Madame Gregoire Staechelin. The startling quality of presence in Paul’s eyes, when they are suddenly direct, warm blue-brown, catching lamplight. The particular whole-body enthusiasm with which he gives himself over to something he loves, outcries of delight that know no reservations-for Joni Mitchell singing a moody ballad, or the sight of our old retriever, Arden, sitting poised in the falling snow, completely happy, his dense black curls gone arctic.”-Still Life with Oysters and Lemon.


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