For a while I even let myself imagine I had died—
and that was all right, at least for a couple
of minutes, until it really sank in: Dead.
As I was lying there with my eyes closed,
just after I’d imagined what it might be like
if in fact I never got up again, I thought of you.
I opened my eyes then and got right up
and went back to being happy again.
—from “For Tess” by Raymond Carver, Poetry, February 1985
Above, Tess Gallagher pictured at Raymond Carver’s grave. Carver and Gallagher were married June 17, 1988. Carver died weeks later, on August 2, 1988.