Stranger things have happened, or so they said. They hadn't slept in this bed. The one that you died in. The sheets aren't the same of course. The mattress has been meticulously cleaned. There are no traces of you on it. No little strands of hair. (of any sort). No drool spots on the pillow. Well, there is a dent where your body was. You know, on the side you always laid down on. You were 100 pounds heavier, of course your side would dip lower. Not that you were overweight. You were just big. Tall. Substantial. Your presence was felt. Now that weight is on my chest... The extra 100 pounds. It's piled on. Heavy. Weighty. Massive. I chip away at it. I exercise my heart. I flex my grief muscle. I exorcise you. Excise you. But fail. You are there and there and there even though you aren't there.
Sleeping in that bed.
Not sleeping in that bed.
Avoiding that bed.
Not being able to avoid that bed.
Life and death and sleep and wakefulness.
One breath, no breath.
Simply gone, gone, gone.
I run my hands across the sheets you never slept upon.
The others went the way of medical waste.
The bed frame is all that gives it away.
Otherwise it looks new, new, new.
Appearances can be deceiving.
Do I look like someone who lost you?
Do I look stranger now?
Do people see it?
Is it written on my face?
The grey hair that springs from my scalp?
I carry you in my heart.
All 200 some odd pounds of you
and the other things you picked up and carried with you along the way
Some things I ditch
some things I carry
What I keep and what I throw away surprises me.
Strange this grief.
Strange these priorities.
Strange what matters.
Strange what doesn't.
The first fall leaf.
The hint of a chill in the air.
Taking out the trash.
Carving a pumpkin.
And again and again.
The time lapse.
I watch it and watch it.
The seasons have passed since you passed.
Life goes on and on and on like clockwork.
Stubborn death and life and renewal and renewal.
I weep, and I smile in spite of myself.
I'll roll in a pile of leaves for you.
I will leap like a child.
I will breathe in the air for you, because you can't. You can't. You can't.
The carved pumpkin rots. I chuck it into the woods. It shatters. I laugh.
Nothing lasts forever.
You can't grasp time.
It slips, slips, slips, 'til it's gone.