delicate

July, 2008.  Inspired by oneword.com.

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She was born with the umbilical cord around her neck, breeched and struggling to breathe, like a whale drowned in sand. She was “blue-blooded,” fine-boned, wide-eyed. Her mother insisted she never leave the house.

When she was fifty-three, she stepped out onto the landing beyond her bedroom door, discovering she had been floating on an ancient oil-tanker all along. She jumped clumsily off of the landing, her wings — far too fragile, too delicate to permit her to do anything but fall with the grace of a ballerina.

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