Sharon Olds

November 19, 1942 / San Francisco

The Flurry

When we talk about when to tell the kids,
we are so together, so concentrated.
I mutter, 'I feel like a killer.' 'I'm
the killer'—taking my wrist-he says,
holding it. He is sitting on the couch,
the worn indigo chintz around him,
rich as a night tide, with jellies,
I am sitting on the floor. I look up at him
as if within some chamber of matedness
some dust I carry around me. Tonight,
to breathe its Magellanic field is less
painful, maybe because he is drinking
a wine grown where I was born—fog,
eucalyptus, sempervirens—and I'm
sharing the glass with him. 'Don't catch
my cold,' he says,'—oh, that's right, you want
to catch my cold.' I should not have told him that,
I tell him I will try to fall out of
love with him, but I feel I will love him
all my life. He says he loves me
as the mother of our children, and new troupes
of tears mount to the acrobat platforms
of my ducts and do their burning leaps,
some of them jump straight sideways, and for a
moment, I imagine a flurry
of tears like a wirra of knives thrown
at a figure to outline it—a heart's spurt
of rage. It glitters, in my vision, I nod
to it, it is my hope.
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