I could not name it, a feeling
like a sloshed mother, a spoiled

birthday party in a bowl, the batter
mixed with gravel & dust. I tried

to find it. It hurt like
a woodpecker beak splintered

behind my ribs. No words
for it when I found out Zoey

died. It’s not because I’m
not used to it; I collect losses

like pennies in a cigar
box but the news

hit me hard. Not sweet
Zoey, barely 30, the last

person you’d expect
to decamp. I couldn’t find

the words for such abrupt
devastation & I was left

with brief gusts of her — long
hippie hair, light blonde & down

to her waist, the way her mom,
when she was a baby, tucked her

inside a rolling tentlike contraption
that hooked up to her Schwinn & she

pedaled them together, chains singing,
to the only laundromat in town.