These things happen. There’s nothing
beautiful about it. She gave up her breasts
two years ago, but the cancer returned, pushing
through the sutures, the larval wasp consuming
the spider. This morning at the nursing home
the doctor could have said, It’s like a glacier:
she’ll die of pneumonia or a broken hip
long before it moves from one end of her life
to the other. Instead, he stood there with his
buttoned white coat, and told us that soon
she would start to smell. A child once asked
if a meteor at dusk was the needle of the woman
who sews the stars into place. Yes, I said. Yes.
At the nursing home, a clock in the hallway
hasn’t been wound. I can see the minutes
pressed against the glass, hear the teeth click.