infinite anthology: day 230

“Sudden” — Nick Flynn

If it had been a heart attack, the newspaper
might have used the word massive,
as if a mountain range had opened
inside her, but instead

it used the word suddenly, a light coming on

in an empty room. The telephone

fell from my shoulder, a black parrot repeating
                         something happened, something awful

a sunday, dusky. If it had been

terminal, we could have cradled her
as she grew smaller, wiped her mouth,

said good-bye. But it was sudden,

how overnight we could be orphaned
& the world become a bell we’d crawl inside
& the ringing all we’d eat.

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