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As It Happens

As It Happens AS IT HAPPENS I Susan Wood Just as you're about to* settle back into the life you call your own, it happens: the wind rubbing itself against the skinny limbs of trees in winter, the cold lips of flowers pressed hard against the earth, and the lips of the dead answering them, something sexual and bleak. Too many small moments of comfort unfold like useless handkerchiefs in a larger landscape, an ocean perhaps. This isn't the life you meant to have, though sometimes it almost makes you happy: a child nuzzling your hand, your husband's soft breathing beside you as the darkness slowly backs away into a comer. But in this weather you imagine something else: there was a man you loved once and you knew the consolation of hard ground, the violence in the space between two bodies that shocked you, that turned your bones to thin wires of light. And though you'd thought differently, nothing was resolved by the ice breaking open on the lake, the vague shadow of green under snow. A man's face is always about to disappear and what's left isn't enough. It never is. Your own death is that faint cloud of ashes on your breath. You hold it, and go on. 16 · T h e M i s s o u r i R e v ie w http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Missouri Review University of Missouri

As It Happens

The Missouri Review , Volume 4 (1) – Aug 27, 1980

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Publisher
University of Missouri
Copyright
Copyright © The Curators of the University of Missouri.
ISSN
1548-9930
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AS IT HAPPENS I Susan Wood Just as you're about to* settle back into the life you call your own, it happens: the wind rubbing itself against the skinny limbs of trees in winter, the cold lips of flowers pressed hard against the earth, and the lips of the dead answering them, something sexual and bleak. Too many small moments of comfort unfold like useless handkerchiefs in a larger landscape, an ocean perhaps. This isn't the life you meant to have, though sometimes it almost makes you happy: a child nuzzling your hand, your husband's soft breathing beside you as the darkness slowly backs away into a comer. But in this weather you imagine something else: there was a man you loved once and you knew the consolation of hard ground, the violence in the space between two bodies that shocked you, that turned your bones to thin wires of light. And though you'd thought differently, nothing was resolved by the ice breaking open on the lake, the vague shadow of green under snow. A man's face is always about to disappear and what's left isn't enough. It never is. Your own death is that faint cloud of ashes on your breath. You hold it, and go on. 16 · T h e M i s s o u r i R e v ie w

Journal

The Missouri ReviewUniversity of Missouri

Published: Aug 27, 1980

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