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In the Nacreous Hours (September, 1900, Galveston, Texas)

before the Great Storm of 1900, a calm breeze rustles palm fronds like cotton castanets. The evening sky is opalescent, disturbed by nothing

but the glides, swoops, and dives of gulls. The children are nonchalant, licking their bright red lollipops, stuffing their mouths with sticky

pink wads of cotton candy. The waves, grown mysteriously angry, strike shell beds with the opening notes of Beethoven's Fifth. The puppet limbs

of lovers are thrashing in the sky, the cotton threads of their lifelines twisting, fraying, held by but the screaming of the brute, careening gulls.

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