When I was 21 I married a dying man.
Now, I only hold him in pictures,
and I don’t cry
because you can’t mourn someone who never wanted to be
what you imagined them.
It’s been almost a year since the funeral
and I boxed up the memories he left,
pressed them into scrapbooks,
set them on the shelf as something to treasure
but never look at.
It’s not a wound now,
not even a scar,
just an empty attic in my chest growing cobwebs
but I never have the energy to dust anymore.
Since that day I haven’t said his name,
but in quiet corners of our own home
I can call the right one, devoid of pretenses.
Other people still think he’s alive!
When the body you love doesn’t host a headstone
it’s easy to see why—
just a walking memory, play acting the part
the skin of your lover a freckled roadmap leading you
far away from what you thought was your home
but it’s achingly familiar—
I love her.
This poem was meant to be a eulogy
but the pers