Ringworm

Kate Wheeler

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IT'S BEEN TWO YEARS since I left Pingyan Monastery, but every time my head itches I still think it's that ringworm. It was the blind cat's fault, or mine for getting distracted and feeding her and having a special feeling about her, as if her eyes full of blank green fire could see something beyond what there was—white stucco walls stained with the mud from the monsoon, beautiful brown people walking slowly up and down, meditating. Dust, mud, garbage, jasmine. Every single thing, different from here.

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