Spring 1986 • Vol. VIII No. 2 Fiction |

Magic Lantern

The girl in a long dark dress—heavy fabric, military-looking, with braid—standing in front of a well with a bucket hung up behind her. The girl in a grape arbor—her wide, pale face among the leaves, the dark tendrils of her hair around her, like a goddess coming out of a grapevine. The girl stooping by water, a clear lake, her face visible among the pebbles, a lovely woman made out of stones. She squatted, turned, picked up the pebbles, turned them over, a dark mass in her braided gown. Childlike in her perfect modular form, womanly, eternal, the three-pointed, legless tripod-goddess of the caves, carved out of stone forever, but with a human smile in her smooth, serious face. No photographs of her nude. She seemed indeed very clothed, always, as the Flemish painters clothed their women with such knowledge of their draperies, part of their being secret, their actuality and sensuality. Her exposed skin was fine as silk itself, the lines of her body strong enough to make thei

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