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Such grand theories! My governess, a stern young thing, took
great pains to instruct me in the ways of music and joy. I was an ugly child, prone to Goethe, loath to comb my hair. How I hated her milky skin and berry-bright cheeks, her long fingers stroking me awake from nightmares under the eiderdown. . . . The snow-crusted tangle of Tchaikovsky's beard grew up around the chair as we rocked. Our cuckoo was frozen at twelve. The dachshunds humped furiously. Far off from Papa's study I heard the sound of pages turning. What day is it that means the endless passing of flowers? By the firelight, a black dog pried its sleeping eye open, not wanting to give up the dark, not knowing what else to look for.
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Both regulators and employers have embraced new technologies for on-the-job monitoring, turning a blind eye to unjust working conditions.
But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.
The vast hinterlands of the Global South’s cities are generating new solidarities and ideas of what counts as a life worth living.