Under a table at the library fair, she had found in a cardboard box a book of 425 poems about the death of the poet’s child. “Row, row, all the way from the Pale of Settlement to the crematoria,” she now read aloud. I kept getting up to look out the front window, take a leak, play with the cat, seek employment. Each time I returned, she was smaller than I remembered. I shrugged, or howled, as the music dictated. Empty scraps of paper fell periodically from the sky. To this day, I’m surprised that there’s no “e” in lightning.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection The Middle of Nowhere (Olivia Eden Publishing). His latest chapbooks are Echo’s Bones and Danger Falling Debris (Red Bird Chapbooks). He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.