The Death of Sherwood Anderson

by Bill Yarrow

He was on a cruise ship eating hors d'oeuvres
when he swallowed the green toothpick
which punctured his intestine causing the
peritonitis which corrupted his blood and
catapulted him into an alien grave. Or was it
bald sadness? Unhappiness upended by
misery? Desolation made grey by despair?
Whatever the cause, he died, like the Bible in
Mauritania, like a mouse in a vial of ammonia,
like a retired coal miner on vacation in the Alps,
like novelty in a nursing home, like streptococcus
in outer space, like panache in sundered life.