Lady Orn

One of Ten Thousand Apsaras

What a man and a woman made in an instant was far more beautiful than all the temples in Cambodia, every mountain of sculpture which took thousands of men decades to build…more beautiful, still, than every apsara dancing on every wall. They came from the churning of an ocean; she came from a womb, and the day after I met her I gave her a small bouquet of dark, almost black roses, which withered in my hands and bled petals onto the bricks.

The truth is that Helen of Troy works near Angkor selling knick-knacks to tourists twelve hours a day for twenty dollars a month (*). I met her, spoke with her, and made a fool of myself before her; I would have taken her back to America and given up everything for her, if she had let me.

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