Fiction | July 17, 2011

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This was when they lived in the eternal city. It seemed possible that the trio’s little corner of the Kurdish spring—the square chimneys of the brick kilns unfurling their listing columns of black smoke into the high, clear light, the sloped, red sides of the river, secreted within the ellipses of bank woods and seething with insects in the lambent dawn before the air filled with the clattering gossip of the washerwomen and the collisions of the silver-voiced children worrying its shallows—had, since the beginning of time, continued in just this way in its sounds and habits, relying on no allegiance other than the residents’ curious sense of belief in their own perpetuity. This was when Bajh and Asti and Araz all lived there together, when they were young and the fields and herds still seemed born entirely anew each spring; this was when it was still their city to have.

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