Pear This pear, battered by the soft pads of gentle fingers—pickers, packers lifting it out of the bin, and the supermarket checker also careful—it looks so old, painted a dozen coats of greens, yellows, reds, and bruises here and there, its label with a tab that peels off cleanly, without ripping the skin— this pear sitting here, or standing, if you prefer, on the bamboo chopping board, bears itself with the dignity of one who can boast My great-great-great-grandpère was painted by Cézanne. He had decomposed (before Cézanne got the composition right) into a mushy brown lump, though Cézanne still…

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