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Alyss

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Biofacts

Everywhere you look there’s a finger bone of some gone woman.
Take Aimée du Buc de Rivéry, drowned at 19 returning to Martinique from school in France
or else transformed
into Nakşidil Sultan, consort of Sultan Hamid I. Depends in this case on pirates—if they captured her, gifted her
to Istanbul as harem concubine. Or whether her ship vanished at sea. Vanish, vagary, verge.
A woman vanishes into a crowd
delirious and sheer. She vanished like Dorothy Arnold, niece of a Justice (all important women are related to important men)
vanished in Central Park in 1910 at 24. How does a socialite vanish after buying a pound of candy and a book of epigrams?
many rare birds will cry in the air Now! Now! and sometime later will vanish.
Possibly pregnant possibly depressed.
She could have hopped a steamer to Naples, could have died of a botched abortion, her body thrown into the reservoir.
Was her look beatific or faraway. Remember Amelia Earhart—so charismatic and so thin.
Like a finger bone with eyes.

Lynn Schmeidler