As if she were to bump her shin in the night and utter a small, audible oh, the doctor says, “Oh,” as in: things don’t look good, or the baby that’s growing there inside is no longer the baby there, growing. Like Whitman’s O, O gossamer thread, O filament, filament, filament . . . Or the Oh that comes into a room after the wind has filled the curtains and emptied them again. Just Oh. What causes it? Causes what is, not to be? Whichever O in theology you prefer, the same way “Sweetheart, I love the sex but I don’t love you” equals: Oh. Or maybe the Oh in Oh, what the hell — it’s nothing dramatic, not the Oh of a funeral but of a year later, when you simply look up from your work and remember that she’s gone. . . . Oh, like omission. It’s nothing I can put my finger on, nothing that can be grieved for or raged against — to miscarry, to put the lame collie down, and how many years now since your friend passed away? So I lose my wallet or the tip of my index finger. With everyone else, I’m standing on this continuum of fairly average losses, all supportable, shrewd blows, O’s, zeros, noughts. An absence of something so profound it bears down on the soul, as if I were to take some nails and hammer them into the water — just small nails, driven deeply.