Universe by Ally Malinenko

It is your tenth wedding anniversary
and instead of being away
you’re in a hotel room in Albany
because this weekend
is your nephew’s high school
graduation

and your mother has snuck in earlier.
She set up a note,
a sign, some chocolate
and when you see it

you sit on the bed and cry
because it hasn’t even been
a week since the cancer
diagnosis
and she doesn’t know
and she has cancer
and your father does too
and your sister
dead now
13 unlucky years
from the same disease

because there is something wrong
in your genes
in your family
and the universe
has set about trying to undo
all of you.

Ally Malinenko is the author of The Wanting Bone and the novel This Is Sarah. Forthcoming books include Better Luck Next Year and How To Be An American. She lives in the part of Brooklyn the tour buses don't come to.

Ally Malinenko is the author of The Wanting Bone and the novel This Is Sarah. Forthcoming books include Better Luck Next Year and How To Be An American. She lives in the part of Brooklyn the tour buses don’t come to.

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