And as I left the message
I realised that you
were probably already
dead – a fact my voice
seemed to know before I
did as it dropped
right down
and started slow to speak
– a strange tone, very
slow and uninflected
as if an arrow could fly
with a heaviness
but straight, knowing
exactly as it moved
through a long blackness –
it knew, for example,
not to say
Happy New Year,
how in the not saying
the truth rang clear:
that there’d be no year
or month or even a week,
that you’d had your day
and your soul had outrun
you in the night, was in
the running now forever,
something my voice
seemed to know before I
did when it stopped,
hung up
and didn’t say goodbye

from Alive Alive O (Bloodaxe, 2015), © Greta Stoddart 2015, used by permission of the author and the publishers

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