The evening was already half gone when Shabbat staggered in, charming as usual but a little distracted. She looked wan and washed out in her unabated white, and when she smiled in the receiving line her eyes had a faraway and wistful quality to them.

All through the night her lips moved as though she were memorizing lines, and in off moments she hummed long, clear notes that arched upward near the ends toward the wide, black sky.

At the end of the day she flitted out quickly, with barely a goodbye. Later this week I expect to see her among the angels, singing her heart out in seraphic devotion and shining in dazzling purity among all the other promises I have tried to keep.

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