‘You crack an atom, what’s left? Particles,
bits. It’s like Meccano: proton, neutron, quark.
Don’t you see..

The things you knew.
The rest of us set our horizons at the girls’
school down the road. Whatever you
dreamed of, you left us in the dark.
(‘I couldn’t follow him’, one friend confessed
after the fact, then ‘Why? The waste, the waste!
then again, ‘Did he know something we don’t?’)

'... . there’s nothing to it’, your pale face
lit on a smile, ‘A molecule? A galaxy?
Nothing but little obstacles in space.’
As clear as mud. Just for a moment, though,
your laughter shook me. It was wild—
touch of vertigo. I saw the solid world
come unput at our feet. I didn’t see
the logic: how you would leave behind
friends, family, a fixed address,
even your books, until
one tactful line
in the Hatched-Matched-&-Despatched: DIED
SUDDENLY. No note,...

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