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S. E. VENART: THE FALLING ACTION

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S. E. Venart THE FALLING ACTION She was sixty-nine or was she seventy?  Some people said a ripe old age.         It’s said that if the young learn that they are dying, they become holy.     I suppose it’s their face.  It is said, anyway.     Above the barn sink, the glass held the reflection of a barn cat leaping for a barn swallow. I saw it go down, slapping my wet hands and seething: Shit ! W ell, that’s over.       I looked everywhere for meaning: in her soft-tissued pyjamas, in her perhaps-holy face. I read poems to her that were little stories: man walks into autumn beach town, is a skunk, finds a skunk, the end.       I made lemon custard. I set spoons on the two-by-four table. This is my gold-packed love.   I pushed in her puritan bench. The other side of the window bloomed lilac— I can’t say what I want that to mean— she was already above me, outside me, beyond me? Still I brought a bowl to her table.   Each spoonful she spat into the napkin, her f