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I know someone who always wakes up before the end of her dreams. Last night she was with the redwoods counting ashes like lovers count stars when suddenly, before she was sure that the ashes were all there, she began to fall as if the ground had opened beneath her feet. Just above the threshold she caught herself, and in a cold sweat she rose from her bed and stepped into her slippers and walked gently through the hallway before opening the last door. She peeked her head through the opening with caution, like a child checks the closet for familiar ghosts, to see if my bed was still empty.


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