I remember the day you told me you were getting married. I listened and nodded and let the restaurant breakfast die on the plate in front of me, unable to touch it as if it were to blame for me being here.
We walked through the Automotive Building at the C.N.E. like strangers, not knowing whether to touch one another or to stay away. The rules had all changed with those few sentences earlier.
It was late autumn – not a bad one, but not good either. Things were dying everywhere and I guess it was fitting that this should be the time of year that we died as well.
We stopped at each table eyeing one craft after another, each tagged and anxious to be taken home, so it seemed. I bought a framed scorpion from West Malaysia bigger than my hand, and two giant beetles -one male, the other female- from Papau, New Guinea. You crinkled your nose at the thought of those dead creatures hanging from my living room wall like trophies and I laughed at your disgust, teasing you with schoolyard taunts.
Later, outside the car when we were heading our separate ways, you cried when we kissed and I knew that deep down we were both sorry, but for what I was not sure.
Now, with all these years wedged between us, this time seems distant and faded. You have gone your way, erecting a new life without me, while I still search the wreckage of our love for something to hold on to. But the salted tears on your face that day are still fresh damage against my lips and heart, and as I write these words I remember how much I truly loved you.
This is not a poem — only me missing you.