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Pay careful attention lest with all the fluctuations of thoughts the greening power which you have from God dries up in you. —Hildegard von Bingen writing to an Abbot 1 I bought an alabaster blue bird when I was only nine visiting Florence with my family. I remember nothing of the city now but the store, everywhere I turned, unscratched beauty. It seemed to me a grown-up purchase, something precious wanting me and late at night I stroked its calcite body and whispered who? 2 Little girl lovers, we took turns playing the naked princess in bed, the other a naked prince. Even J’s earlobes dripped in the heat. She moved away when I was twelve. I sent the blue bird with her.

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