Her last night at home


she phoned, out of breath.


I was still half asleep


when she said, "There's a bird,


or a bat, loose in the house.


Please can you come home now?"

From outside I could see


the light in every window.


She met me at the door.


"It's behind the curtain


in the dining room, I think.


Something flew down the stairs."


She handed me a tennis racket,


and sat exhausted, thin, pale.

I looked everywhere: the cellar,


upstairs, in every window.


Nothing was behind the curtain


except the night, black,


full of morphine, and her house


flooded with all its lights,


reflecting back in the glass,


rooms unfolding one after another:


a long corridor to an empty kitchen.


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