His heart punched me. Now, not just the random heart strokes that
everyone else is talking about or was talking about yesterday but
the infinitesimal strokes that are what I most held onto after his last
breath. I cannot begin to tell you the last breath—deep gutted scent
of what couldn’t be eaten. He so wanted that smoothie he asked the
kitchen staff to remake in the last morning, and he would save—
scent of nutmeg and ginger—the bite of heartache in every breath.
He lingered and scooped, his slawed fingers, the slight shred and
sift of possibility.
I am choking on dreams—it started that night after the night after I
laid my left ear—the one of the three earrings, now only undressed
holes—against the insidious pulse of his throat, rings of piano
notes throbbing up through his slack lips, cracked lips of departure,
my lips sewn into his.
Who would have thought he could leave that way, so much
accumulated in the cycle of unfathomable gusts.
So just listen, and you will begin to hear the scent of cashews, and
okra, blessed moments of peppermint and unguents. His skin
unblemished and raw, how could I have seen all of that and known
that love was expansive beyond the moment, beyond the planet,
beyond the crunch of bone and unfatted fat. That is when I
understood, my fingers on the deep, winded flesh of his cheek.