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I miss the way that your snoring sounds like pelicans being pulled to safety from the wreckage of an automobile accident

I miss the pet names that you would call me during your blood curdling fits of rage directed at my face from close range

I miss not knowing for sure whether you used up the last of the poison in last night's beef stroganoff or whether there still might be some in tonight's meatball surprise

I miss the contour of the door on your late-model Pontiac that you tried to fashion into an oversized metal mitten for my sensitive blood-filled hand

I miss the continental breakfast that you used to decorate my mother's portrait every Tuesday night while we were together

I miss the way your shadow would dance across my limp body as you recreated scenes from The Pit and The Pendulum using my banjo

I miss the feel of your heels, your arches, and your toes training my torso to be your own private pedestrian walkway

I miss the echoes of laughter that resonated against my skull as you bellowed into crevices in the corrugated metal helmet you made for my birthday

I miss the way you would coax me from dream-filled slumber by shoveling gravel from a garbage bag into my bed in the still, dark hours of the morning

I miss the walks we used to take on those dusty summer nights as the fireflies lit the way to safety away from the inferno that you fashioned from the more flammable parts of my house

I lie here, watching the phone you used to dislodge my front tooth, but still it refuses to ring.

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