Here is the subway platform launching daylight into scrub brush and desert night. Follow the nomenclature. Arrive blank-eyed stoic hurting barely female. Lose your place in line. That man there cut you off not even a glance at your careful face. In dining rooms of the most obvious mid-century design, curtain off the visible. It’s your car that wants to drive off the Tappan Zee if only in that brief sad nightmare where loss is a lifted shoulder and an acquiescent nod. Look for prisms on summits too high too slippery and full of tenor voices you didn’t ask for. This time, you know what you don’t know. All the temperature and humidity-controlled byways in your messy seeking mind plough past. Disregard them. Stay.

Rachel R. Baum is best known for her Bark: Confessions of a Dog Trainer blog. Her book, Funeral and Memorial Readings Poems and Tributes is not as morose as it sounds. She lives in upstate New York with her dog Tennyson and cat Giovanni.