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The Short Form

“Imperial Chrysanthemum”

Belle Boggs


“My husband was born in this house,” Cutie says, “and the silver was here then. His daddy was born here, and it was here then too.”

It used to depress me to think of being born so close by—the idea, I guess, was that I hadn’t gotten anywhere—but now I don’t mind as much. I’m able to see what has changed and what has been the same, even if those are not all good things. Somehow it’s a satisfying feeling, like staying to the end of a party to make sure you don’t miss anything.

We read it in Mattaponi Queen.

Originally published in The Paris Review: No. 192.