When you left on Tuesday last – how the year of missing you began! Every night, my cold feet in bed begged to be warmed by yours. And our baby, not yet conceived…well, it cried all day and all night! As if we were married, your mother called to complain about everything when there was nothing to complain about except that you had become mine. A well meaning friend – Julie, called upset asking how is she supposed to finish a song when the baby burps unmercifully through the chorus? And just like that, I drive to the airport looking for your embrace, and you’re there – eyes smiling “I love you.” When you say, “Let’s go home and make love,” I have to ask, “Have we met?” Such an interminable year since you left on Tuesday last.
I returned home from shopping to find some sleeping mutation of a pug dog with two lavender lace size C humps growing from either side of his little torso. He could have been killed or even suffocated. He approached me eagerly as though he had always been a mutant sharing my home. Cecil, you could have died! You might have been strangled! He sat there smiling the smile a mutant gives one when being ingratiating. How can I leave you alone when you’re not of this world, Cecil? I asked as I released him from my bra. Cecil, look at me. How long have you been a freak of nature today? He never let on. He just wagged the tail of a pug dog as if he was one.
I looked through the apartment, but you had already gone to her – the one in your note. Chasing the wind, I still love you. Now leaves fall in shades of wanting more while evening spills into afternoon as days pass. With the din of traffic rising from the street below, I discovered that you left behind my favorite sweater of yours. It carries the scent of me asleep beside you where ours was the fullness of orchards.
My husband had been out of town on business, and he didn’t understand my mowing around the dead bird. He had no patience with me when I hadn’t used a shovel to throw it in the garbage. I was too afraid of the void death had left, loving birds as I do. I looked down where it was beside the hedge asking my husband if we could bury what remained. He didn’t speak, but as I watched he buried the bird. That afternoon I was out of the house for an hour. On the kitchen table when I returned was a vase of Stargazer lilies and a card that read, “Forgive me. I love you, Perry”. I called to him, “Perry! It was my fault!” He walked into the room and looking in my eyes, he whispered my favorite quotation: “Though I was thought mad, I made my way upon the wings of birds and there I found a heaven.”