Immoral Woman

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As surely as Ruan Lingyu never knew anything to equal a slice of ginger she once cut for her mother — not since her childhood, not since her death — so I have not yet known anything to equal my encounter with Ruan herself. I do not know whether I will ever again have such an experience, but if I do, I am unlikely to receive any warning when or how such an experience may arrive, or to know — even at the moment it is happening — that it will become a memory. I can have no idea whether a memory will linger until tomorrow, or longer; it may stay with me my entire life, or, as it did with Ruan Lingyu, even longer than that.


Appeared in different form as “Interview with an Angel”
in The Gettysburg Review


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