The Last Time

by Marie Howe


Original Language English

The last time we had dinner together in a restaurant
with white table cloths, he leaned forward

and took my two hands in his and said,
I'm going to die soon. I want you to know that.

And I said, I think I do know.
And he said, what surprises me is that you don't.

And I said, I do. And he said, What?
And I said, Know that you're going to die.

And he said, No, I mean know that you are.

-- from What the Living Do: Poems, by Marie Howe

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The Last Time