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Alaskan – Patrick Chapman

At morning tea, he tells you this. Because the passion of his youth had been a sin, he’d lived for sixty years on the vapours of a half-remembered kiss then given up on wanting. In the afternoon he lets you exercise his Malamute, who, testing the limit of her lead, pads ahead on the narrow country road, as her claws touch-type a tic-tap song, and the tock of her swings like the lead in a long-case clock.