Resting in his arms, she feels the universe cooling.
All the photons grow hazy and soft
like the starlight is made from the dust of chalk,
and the particles are tumbling
and breaking apart, atom by atom,
along a long, low, gravitic curve,
chased down by every memorya curve
into the smallest nothing, the cooling
remnants of her last unbroken atom.
Her landing at the base of it is soft,
amid dizzying, tumbling
echoes and falling snow like chalk.
And the color of chalk
is the color of everything, horizon's curve
vast, pale, a monument to the tumbling
down of all she's built, all she's been, to the cooling
of her sun. Underneath it are the soft
noises of grief, and the split atom
which gave its power for her lifean atom
of humble, powdery chalk.
Hands cradle her, soft
and rough and warm also, at the curve
of her throat where her skin is cooling.
Her vision has shrunk to a single atom
of blue light, cooling
her bones, drying her skin to the brittleness of chalk;
somewhere beyond the earth's empty curve
are the lost sounds of her own soft
footfalls. They were soft
like rain and pine needles and tumbling,
drifting leaves that curve
and curl on themselves, protecting from the scattered light the only atom
that survives while the rest of her fades to lifeless chalk
hands against her cheeks, cooling
them, in anguish matching their curve, cooling
against them in turn. Her body is tumbling apart, only chalk
nowsoft, dissipating, and matching her in dying, atom for atom.