He laid covered in a white sheet, his favorite plaid shirt on, eyes closed, lips purple and hands carefully overlapping each other on top of his hard chest. His eyelashes were as long as ever, his fingernails blue, cold. So cold.
I touched him to confirm to my brain what my eyes already knew: he wasn’t there. He wasn’t sleeping. And even if he were, this is a dream I would never see him wake up from. Not this time.
So I kissed his lips. I laid on his chest. I spilled my tears on him as I told him I loved him, one last time. As I thanked him for everything, one last time.
And now I cry, still. On public transportation, during breaks at work, on top of my lovers and pillows, over my phone and cards he wrote me in perfect calligraphy. I cry and scream at how unfair life seems. The good always die young and the young always die good, and I’m still alive and not well, and nothing is good about the way he went.
This clocking in and out doesn’t feel real. The mealtimes and pastimes and friends’ laughter feels like a fog, just a part of all the non quintessential things that make up my life these days.
I’m not dead, but I’m not alive either. All I know to tell them when they ask if I’m fine is this: I’m still breathing.
That’s all I have. That’s all I know.
My breath is rising in and out of my chest.