Silver – stanza 26.2

“Oh my God,” said Silver, “He’s Courlain.”
“Who?” asked Malinov, “Brandon?”
“I didn’t see it right away. He thinks he’s
Being clever, disguising himself stylistically.”
“Does he know?”
“What?”
“Does he know you recognized him?”
Silver laughed. “Not a chance.”
“How do you know?”
“He’s too busy being pleased with himself.”
“Why is he here?”
“Revenge, I’m sure. That’s how he thinks.”
“It’s been more than a hundred years.”
“Nothing to a man like Randolph.”
“So what do we do?”
“You just carry on as usual. I’ll take care of him.”
“I almost feel sorry for him.”
Silver laughed. “Don’t bother.”
“You haven’t told me very much about him.”
“No, I haven’t.”
Malinov waited, letting the pause plead for him
Silver paid him no mind. She rarely deigned
To tell him about her past, about the rest
Of the immortals, looking hard past him
“Nothing is ever simple,” she said sadly
“I’ll send him on a goose chase, get him.
Away and distracted. I wonder if Tasha
Is here too, somewhere nearby watching
I’d better find Razor, he’ll know more.”

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Silver – stanza 25.2

“Allison Walker,” Malinov said aloud, trying
The sound as though it might reveal her presence
But Silver wouldn’t have selected a vessel
Because of the name, or would she, he wondered
The reasons Silver had were her own, and they
Were never wrong, not in his experience, once
She was truly Silver again, this past year
Some simple woman found herself prodded
By right decisions and barely audible voice
Speaking nothing but wisdom, was it she?
The handbill held the hallmarks, a woman
Almost past her dancing prime suddenly
Attracts the attention of the dancing elite
They said nothing in Allison’s background
While replete with training and practice
Really explained her skill and familiarity
With techniques from every era of ballet
A living museum of a forgotten past
Unrecorded, passed from teacher to student
In long lines that never intersected Allison
But the exaggerated praise of a few art patrons
Hardly constituted proof of anything
Malinov needed ocular proof, the recital
Would reveal everything, but looking
At her name listed alongside mine, he
Knew that Silver had chosen this vessel
And reunited, they would take off together
Which frightened me, because I love Allison
And which frightened me because Malinov died

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Silver – stanza 24.2

“Courlain wants to ride this life out, but frankly
We’re growing bored. Swamp life isn’t fulfilling
Our basic adventurous needs, you remember
Of course you do, the Americas appeal to his
Coarse need to dominate, control and kill
And while there is a measure of fun in playing
The white goddess, I crave a cultured, intellectual
Experience and there is none of that in this new world”
“You have a plan, of course.”
“Randolph is a child in so many ways. Nothing
Could be easier than making him jump.”
“I’m surprised he’s not more wary of you.”
“Egotistical pride. He loves himself so much
He really can’t imagine that I wouldn’t.”
“Doesn’t sound worthy of you.”
“He has his charms.”
“I assume.”
“I’ve selected a vessel for you. He has
Some talents, I think you’ll approve. I’ll
Point him out at the Anderson’s party.”
“Why don’t we take off now.”
“He’d love that, chasing us down. This way
Is much more certain. You’ll take the boy
Over and I’ll follow you a few months later
Randolph won’t know who we are before
We’re long gone and finding people who don’t
Want to be found isn’t easy, n’cest pas?”
“I know it all too well.”
“I’m glad you’ve found me, Malinov.”

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Silver – stanza 23.2

“I have only just arrived,” replied Tasha
“I danced with her in Kiev,” said Courlain
“When was that?” Allison asked
“1904, I think it was,” said Tasha, smiling
At Courlain as she rekindled the memory
“But,” I said and then stopped, She was
An older woman, in her fifties, ancient
For a dancer, but not nearly old enough
Perhaps her grand parents danced in ‘04
But she never did, and Courlain in his thirties
Might have danced in 2004 but never that
Long ago – I hushed myself, deciding they
Were putting us on, having a laugh
Tasha began to describe a performance
Deep in the heart of a terrible Russian winter
Ice forming on the curtain and sets
A shimmer of reflective jewels shrouding
The precision performance of two youths
In their prime, moving strongly, deftly, delicately
A perfect moment captured in memories
Lost to everyone who wasn’t there, a myth
Passed from soul to soul, fading over time
“You two,” said Tasha warmly, taking our hands
“You will know the joy of sharing such an experience
Placing your hearts in each other’s strong hands
It is more than mere love, this sharing
In the act of creation, expressing between
You the feelings others dream but cannot know
For they lack the indomitable will of life

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Silver – stanza 22.2

“There’s a woman, north side of town
Breaking new ground, at least I think
She’s changing the game, here’s a shot
Of a recent piece, see the way the color
Clashes with the lines, breathtaking.”
Malinov looked over the painting
Dissecting the influences silently
And seeing nothing of Silver within
“When did she paint this?” he asked
“Just a few weeks ago,” he answered
Dispositively, anything so recently done
Would have oozed with Silver’s style
“Anything else new, suddenly on the horizon
New youth movements, rising stars”
They mentioned a few but notice
Took years, the rising stars aren’t seen
As such for quite some time, look
At this and look at that is nothing
Worthwhile, crawling through every
Art school and local show daunted
Malinov, but he’d have to do whatever
It took, uncovering Silver wasn’t always
Easy, artistic temperament sometimes
Obstructed the communication, although
Once Silver had full control, she’d find
A way to attract his attention, and
Notice the clues to his whereabouts
He’d been spreading since he remembered
The woman he continued searching for

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Silver – stanza 21.2

Distracted by Tasha rustling about, Malinov
Turned his attention from the opera below
To see her push a hastily scrawled sheet
Into a servant’s hand with a whisper
“What was that,” he asked with a knowing
Grin “What was what?” “Tasha.”
“Sorry, force of habit, just a note to my
Dear friend, you see, over there, the Countess
Nestled cozily in that box with a young officer”
“Hardly seems a reason to correspond.”
“Her husband has been on campaign.”
“I see. So you offered your good wishes.”
“She needs my benediction. See the older
Gentleman over there, neat beard, big sword?”
“The one with the dark companion?”
“I guess he’s back from the wars.”
“And you thoughtfully helped her escape.”
“It may happen, although I’m inclined to believe …”
A scream erupted from the audience, bringing
The opera to a dead stop as all eyes sought
Out the Countess, “that things will unfold
More dramatically,” Tasha said with a laugh
The crowd followed the outstretched arm
Accusing her husband as he stood in shock
His mistress by his side and soon a gasp
Called attention to the young man beside her
“Two at once,” Tasha said in her glee
“No sympathy for those who betray sacred
Oaths,” and Malinov felt slightly uneasy

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Silver – stanza 20.2

Silver died, as expected, in accordance with
Plans, victim of an infection, brain fever
With a host selected, a young woman, of course
Taken in as a servant but never so treated
More like a daughter, pampered and trained
Taken under win, taught to strengthen her will
Introduced deftly to a handsome young man
Alongside her in service to Malinov and Silver
Working quietly together, exchanging glances
Until love blossomed between them, sincerely
Gently, unforced by circumstance or hunger
Simply forming an orbit of naïve affection
And they dreamed of starting a life together
So when Silver died, she willed herself into
The maid servant, heir to all Silver owned
And began the slow process of possession
Malinov carried on, attending to business
As the young lovers carried on sweetly
Signing over properties, burying gold
Leaving notes of instruction as he planned
His own death, considered the risky
Activities he might use to facilitate
Tending the sick, attending to wild animals
Climbing mountains, swimming deep rivers
Walking tight ropes, daring his death
But before he’d set out down that path
Silver, only barely cognizant within
Ran away with the young man, disappeared
Without a trace, leaving Malinov alone

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