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She watched him expire by his bedside lamp

and knew good riddance was the appropriate sentiment.

She packed away the books she’d read

crescented in the penumbra of that lamp

and felt a lump unlike the one in his throat rise.

A tourist book on Rhodesia and Egypt

she used to read out loud.

The absent body left an impression.

She gripped one corner where Cancer had made its advances

a few sweat patches, an unremarkable Turin Shroud

and unmade him as if unfolding an origami swan.

She’d read his file. Serial offender.

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