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My Upcoming Death by Judith Chalmer
published in Volume 5, Issue 1 on March 1st, 1998

Many cuffs hung, once,
blowing and sneezing
from sleeves out for the long
watch on the line, each
having harbored a narrow,
lined nose. Each lived
for a while in relative health
until one day, back inside,
a faded sweater let go, perhaps
in a corner. Dear family --
the loose hems, the wailing
from the rack and the wall!
Blazers and skirts at once
give in to the odor. Quick
knees pump down the hall
to right them. Knees stoop
at the closet door. The worn
sleeve lets go of its pulse,
swings out to the bedroom
floor. Alas. Worn sleeve,
blow down again to the kitchen,
mix dough in the open window,
crack eggs, pull the bottoms off
baked puffs, dip crusts
in the morning, spread yolks
and warm butter, leaving
no stain, none, on a day, late
in summer, when a worn sweater
lets go of its hold, to roam.

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