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For as long as I was gone my Pittsburgh was a summer city of telephone poles tacked all over with beer bottle caps. In the evenings, deer wandered Forbes Avenue on their way to or from the river. No one was surprised when lovers spent afternoons leaning naked from bedroom windows calling Marco— Polo— On their sills amber glasses of iced tea emptied and filled with sunlight.
When I came home there was snow— Beautiful in the way beautiful means absent, hoofprints appeared regularly at the crosswalks, but the deer were no longer seen. Hoping to become vessels for which to pour into need not also mean pouring out, lovers spent the winter whispering —Marco —Polo back and forth in the cold parks until, lips pressed to their ears, they heard each other saying only — Marco —Marco —Marco