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II. 6. ophelie ophelie sold me her poems, ten cents a piece, "otherwise i'll burn 'em", she said. too cheap, i thought, sorting through her stack. i'd asked once about her name, and she'd said, "ophelie is after ophelia, she who drowned of love. but i'm the one who got away." her mother had sunk into the blue depths of motherhood, then floated as a felled log in the missouri. her name had been a lifesaver thrown ahead of her. "ophelie is for ascendency, the birth my mother gave, still." and though she is surrounded by water -- pressure of a thousand meters of nights under her father's bed -- almost ready to close in: she fends off the water with her poems, tossed so casually one after another as if scattering flowers to form a ring which preserves her life.

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