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THE NAMES

You knew them by sight, but when you addressed invoices all night to farmers at rest in the dark out of town, it was always the same words you put down for each farmer’s name:

one name would be passed from father to son; the first and the last made two men one,

and the names of the fields were the names of the men; like rent and yields or distances then all known, if you knew such things, as you did. When a breeze came through and my papers slid just now, all across each other – a mess of writing to toss in the bin – my address on tickets, prescriptions, adverts, bills, dates for receptions, cartons of pills,

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