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Salisbury Beach again. Love Shack #10, we think, counting back all those rendezvous locales we’ve shared since Framingham kicked you to the curb. Rita, a widow who lives in faraway Methuen, rents this place to us for a pittance, especially since she has no idea how long we stay, and naturally there are abuses afoot. Thursday night to Monday morning, I put on over six hundred miles on the pony, back and forth to Malden.  Rita’s husband, the strapping Italian stallion who built these big white boxes on the beach, withered away from Parkinson’s, a decade of changing piss bags and spooning diced carrots into her man’s grizzled mug, like a baby. “But,” she says wispfully, when calling to ask how the weekend went, “I wouldn’t have missed a minute of it.”

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Seashell curtains, lightly blown by the ocean’s kisses. The kitchen window overlooks the next condo over. In the summer this place must be like a blue collar ghetto, the suburbs on the half shell. Boombox ghosts and fallen boogie boards litter the atmosphere, but I am not afraid. At night, I can hear Portugal, the dream song of pirate mandolins and gypsy laughter.

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Pink mannequin, frozen as a fashion death mask. A Newburyport junk emporium we call the Oldies Store. It sells everything, but little we need. Only a couple of dusty sailing tomes, cast metal animals, a winged cow and Toto dog, which I offered to your godmother as an overnight token, summoning up your gentle, half-meant wrath. The cow lives on a nick-nack shelf, awaiting your homecoming.

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Walking by this house, we both looked up, admiring the soft brickish hue, an ice-cream white dormer, the Robin’s egg heavens above, like a famous painting that Edward Hopper forgot to do.

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Crows follow us. This noble fellow, coal feathers and black olive eyes,  lives in the window of a Newburyport art gallery, watching stuffed guard over passerbys.

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Fuzzy graphics, but the idea is hilarious. The photo-artist posed tiny model railroad people in their habitats of fruit, candy, a weedy landscape of human hair. Here, a miniature frolic on a kiwi and strawberry beach.

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My shopping darling, doing her peckish avian schtick in a feathered chapeaux.

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Something catches your eye, my camera captures your glance.

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