by Mary Ruefle

Once I was in a room with two men. One was a poet reading in front of an audience. The other was a poet sitting in a chair listening: The standing poet thanked the sitting poet for various inspirations. They are both dead now, the standing and the sitting, they died in the same year. My personal euphemism for death is Goodbye, Spaghetti – and I want to add that the tangled relations between the two men has come to an end, which breaks my heart in two, the way I break the dry pasta in two before throwing it into the pot where it will soften and I will eat it.