After I switch off the television Sarah looks at me with the same expression as the screen, as though she too were waiting for input. Outside, a drainpipe leaks, a liquid plinking, suburban shishi-odoshi. The house settles. Tell me something about myself, I say. Her cheeks are flush with life, sakura pink. Her eyes are green and deep, verdantly afield. ‘Sometimes you aren’t here,’ she says, ‘When you come back you bring nothingness with you. I think you are cultivating absences.’ The stars are dead, I tell her, we cannot make more, but nothing is perfect for creation.

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