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photo box.

There are three of them. Acid-free boxes with reinforced metal edges.


The one I've been using is blue. Not a solid colour. Blue like a painting of sea and sky. Like the two things merged into one continuous swirl. Which is what they are anyway.

I filled my Chinese-made water and wind with a few hundred loose pictures that don't have photo albums to call home. At least four of the people in those pictures are dead. A few more might as well be.

The other two boxes are empty. The first is peach with gold trim. I didn't pay much attention to the second one until months after I bought it. The body of the box is purple. The lid is soft pink that leans toward white, frozen in the act of fading into something more meaningful.

There's a map on the lid in the shape of a heart. It holds everything from Portugal to the black sea. The superior vena cava is the Bay of Biscayne. The aortic valve is Syria. The right atrium is the Gibraltar Strait. Six letters sweep from Madeira to Kerman, a one-word exhortation in thick, slanted script.


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