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August 7, 2008
Dear Sharon,

You dreaded reading in public, conspired to flask yourself in case butterflies’ wings flapped razor-like inside. Yet, I noticed that shift—spellbinding—when art releases atmospheric, expanding oxygen to its fullest, happened when you finally went up. Your voice: slight quaver; your mouth: self-forgiving smile. You read quickly, listing radio stations, those songs; could they answer the unanswerable as you drove to say a final goodbye to your mother? By the end, you were breathless, butterflies quieted. Together, our lungs reacted, alveoli effervescing, drunk on your words. Instead of holding our breath, we found we were holding yours.