Lament

Someone is dead.

Even the trees know it, those poor old dancers who come on lewdly, all pea-green scarfs and spine pole.

I think I could have stopped it, if I'd been as firm as a nurse or noticed the neck of the driver as he cheated the crosstown lights; or later in the evening, if I'd held my napkin over my mouth. I think I could ...

if I'd been different, or wise, or calm, I think I could have charmed the table, the stained dish or the hand of the dealer. But it's done. It's all used up.

There's no doubt about the trees spreading their thin feet into the dry grass. A Canada goose rides up, spread out like a gray suede shirt, honking his nose into the March wind. In the entryway a cat breathes calmly into her watery blue fur.

The supper dishes are over and the sun unaccustomed to anything else goes all the way down.

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