S. E. Venart

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! Well, 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 face lit with adoration for that later-place.  
She made a device of folding her napkin into smaller squares, hiding my love without looking.     
But who can talk about what you will miss every minute?   We turned toward signs painted Peaches, I recited.      Once she looked up and said, I’ll miss that face    
Oh, how I hoped. I kept combing the moment. It was said. I return to it.  
Falling action, floodlit.   Anything could happen. Nothing fixed in place yet—. 

S. E. Venart lives in Montreal.
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