She told me only three stories
In the week before she died

The first about the child she’d lost
A boy just seven

A climbing accident that summer
She’d taken a cabin in the Pyrenees

& the second was not a story at all
But simply a description of the Alfa Romeo

Her husband’s lover drove up
To the door of their house the day he left her

It was the color she said of a mustard field
& then she turned to me & held out a snapshot

She’d taken from the drawer of her bedside table
A photo of herself on an empty pier at twenty

Nude she recalled beneath her robe of copper orchids
Which required she insisted no explanation but instead

As she required of me just this song of simple mystery