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SEVENTEEN REASONS (January 2010: Part 2)

Ellis Avery



11. Distant plane at dawn: a tiny orange spark of mirrored sun.



12. I dreamed that cold-fingered children were tickling my feet.



13. Cold, I can't feel my hands in a way I've never not felt my hands.



14. Earthquake: I send money, feel helpless.



15. “If you don't stop holding the doors, I'ma take this train out of service!"



16. First warm day after cold weather: men find women extra foxy.



17. Rain-slick branch in the red neon LIQUOR light: a taxi glides by.



18. Sniffling in her scarf, she reads her meaty Park Slope Food Co-op rulebook.



19. Two pack Marlboro Lights?" "Naw, you're confusing me with some other jerk."



20. Breath steaming, he pushes a handtruck heaped with boxes: BEEF KNUCKLE.




Ellis Avery is the author of two books: THE SMOKE WEEK, a personal account of life in lower Manhattan after 9/11, and THE TEAHOUSE FIRE, a novel set in the tea ceremony of 19th century Japan. Available in paperback from Riverhead Books, THE TEAHOUSE FIRE is being translated into six languages and has won three awards, including the American Library Association Stonewell Award for 2008. She teaches writing at Columbia University.

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. - Henry David Thoreau


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