Finding Light

There was more than darkness when she awoke. A keening loneliness lingered, sinking its crescent claws into her back, forcing her to feel the complete emptiness beside her in the bed. Slowly, she turned to regard the forlorn pillow, the undisturbed sheets. It was the same every morning. Sighing, she threw her own covers back, and thrust the heavy curtains open in her heart. Sunlight poured into her, filling up like a golden reservoir, but it did not warm her as it once had. Her complete happiness, the lightning beacon of her mind, was extinguished, and the apathy that plagued her would now be her lifelong companion. As if in deep water, she prepared for the day.

Dragging herself through her life was even harder than she imagined. The people around her still smiled, still laughed, still loved. She knew that feeling had died in her when he had. He was bright and shining and life itself. He never cowered at a new opportunity; he jumped at everything, often without thinking, but the ecstatic way he threw himself into his work somehow brought him success.

“Anne,” he would murmur, his fingers trailing down her face like an electric breeze, “it will be all right.”

She would believe him. She always believed in him, even when they were thrown out on the streets. Especially then, for she found that love kept even the most fragile people together. “George,” she was counter, tousling his black hair with true affection, “I know.”

She had known that day that everything would be okay. She was certain. She even answered that dreadful phone with cheer, oblivious in her own stupid happiness. That was the last time she smiled.

Of course, social decorum had deemed an emotional mask necessary. “Three years is an awful long mourning period, don’t you think?” Her mother had meant it kindly, but that did not excuse the blunt arrogance of such a statement. But it reminded her that she must at least appear to be recovering, though she knew her condition was terminal. She practiced smiles in the mirror, forced herself to make eye-contact. She could not, however, bring herself to speak to strangers. Any new association was a heartbreak waiting to happen. She was content to coast through the world, a stranger made of silent, sad smiles.

Fate would not tolerate such behavior. On the fourth anniversary of George’s passing, Anne met a woman.

Finding Light

Empty

A picture of an empty bed makes me sad
Now
The creases in the covers dragging down like the new lines in my face
The sheets hug the mattress because it’s the only thing it has left
No warmth no laughter
No whispered delicacies
That roll off of tongues made of pure-drop joy
No more belated good mornings and rushed kisses
Before responsibility knocks down the door
Before the coffee
Before the kettle boils over
It is silent now
The deaf keening of an innocent animal
Waiting for it’s master
To come back
Home

Empty

Open Letter to my Sister

You and I are so similar. I can’t tell what you’re thinking, but the words that fly from our laughing mouths are identical. People forget our two-year gap and call us twins. I would be okay with that. It would mean we were closer, even closer than we are now. You said I was your best friend, which I find hard to believe since you have so many friends. You say you hate them and I find that intriguing and hilarious. You are slow and methodical and cautious, where I am fast and free and unwaveringly trusting. You are the tortoise to my hare. You will win the race, but I will make it interesting. You are my best friend, even though you hate it when I hug you, and you find my life choices abominable. You hate to read, which puzzles and saddens me, for I dearly hoped you would like my writing. But you love science and the earth and I think you are beautiful for it. You have so many facets and hidden pockets of wonder. Sometimes I wonder how you can be so strong, and why I’m not more like you. Little sister, you’re all grown up. I’m stuck in my childhood and people think you’re the eldest. Sometimes I think that was how it was supposed to be. You are the one I will call when I lose everything, and you will be the one who will help me pick up the pieces. You, of course, will have everything figured out. You will not need my help. You are wiser than people give you credit for, including me, and you have the most voracious humor. I hold my breath when I hear you laugh. When you smile it’s like the sun bursting from the clouds you love so much. You are a fire, and you have the devil’s own curls. I hope you never lose your spark. Little sister, you are closer to me than my own heart. I love you, darling.

Open Letter to my Sister

Hilltop Promises

You smell like sweet rose petals kissed with sun and dew
Sometimes when I sit up on the hilltop you come to me on the wind
And I feel unrelenting unrepenting hope fall into my heart
Like unbidden water
First a trickle then a rushing raging waterfall that crashes and smashes and gnashes against my brain in the most sadly expectant way
I begin to smile
Yes, so happy joyous
But then I remember.

Hilltop Promises

Marred Midnight Musings

What a strange thing it is to miss someone I don’t know.
​Or will never know.
​Shadows at sunset,
casting taller, taller,
like giants of the ground,
reaching farther, farther away.
​Holes in the mind,
like a so-sad disease,
a sashaying wave of sorrow that engulfs so suddenly.
​Mistrust of the heart,
uneasiness of the brain.
Is this right?
I don’t know.
If you think a thing to someone, will they understand or will it come out garbled like morning mumbles?
​I don’t know the answer.
The long shadows grab me, the holes shallow me.
I don’t trust myself if I’m missing someone I don’t even know.

Marred Midnight Musings

Legs and Slim

We are so similar, you and I. Can two people be hewn from the same stone, the same soul? I think we could set our hearts together and they would fit perfectly. No gaps or holes. We could hit them against each other, and the sparks would light the fire in our eyes. This is a strange feeling. It’s unlike anything I’ve felt before. You are mine and I am yours and that is all I care about. Dear one, if you asked, I would melt into you, except I believe I already have. Your smile sets me alight when it catches the midday sun and I fear I am burning. But the consuming fire doesn’t cause me pain. It keeps me warm when you’re gone, when I sleep alone in our bed, when I make Coffee For One. When you return, when we reunite, it flowers in my breast like a happy cancer. Oh! How I could die for this. When you smile like that, I know you feel the same. You are my Slim-boy, holder of my heart, and I am your Legs. We are one person, held together by unbending passion, kept strong by long nights and frequent kisses.

Legs and Slim