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Naomi Bess Leimsider

Physical System

The night before your death, I realize you are not lucky. There is no other explanation.

I climb into your bed and wrap myself—a bit of my luck of the draw—around your physical system. The room falls away; nothing else matters. There is little left of you,

just a light-filled shell, but your machine still hums along.

Already you have no definite position, but you are somewhere—here, for example—

and also nowhere at all. I, however, continue to move smoothly through space, cruising my constant angle, surfing the curve to everywhere I'm going. As luck would have it,

I am nothing if not gifted with trajectory, with forward motion.

In a past life, I swore up and down you'd outlive us all. Me and my false promises.

I used to mark time in the relationship between now and later, but there is no later now. In this moment, the luck of matter, energy, and information in your shrinking world powers the last of your system; in the next, indescribable transformation.

Once you were young, but of course you kept on. There is no other choice. Blindsided

by luck, by time, I move from the present to the future. When I touched you, you

were still the single most complex entity in the embedded existence of your environment:

You were there.

And I knew it was coming, but I can barely bear the weight of it.

Naomi Bess Leimsider has published poems and short stories in Newtown Literary, Otis Nebula, Quarterly West, The Adirondack Review, Summerset Review, Blood Lotus Journal, Pindeldyboz, 13 Warriors, Slow Trains, Zone 3, Drunkenboat, and The Brooklyn Review.

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