Did a great Nothing swallow you whole, my darling?
Have you gone to ashes, buried next to the walnut tree in New Jersey, in the back yard of your family?
Is the same swelling of the legs that immobilized you creeping up my body?
I sat on our front porch smoking a cigarette looking at the wild cherry tree full of pink buds---this is your spring coming on in the hills of Carolina.
Were you a collection of elements driven by unknown forces? Have you gone back to the beginning? What beginning?
This is not my season for reassurances.
I don't rest in full knowledge that your essence is still whole somewhere brimming.
Spring is relentless in the hills around our home---fat cardinals are building a nest near an upstairs window. Is that you orchestrating a message? I'm told I need to drink more water and stop eating salt, when all I want is salt.
I wasn't with you at the clinic when you died. I'm told a nurse was combing your hair and singing to you when you stopped breathing, when you'd had enough suffering. You had many plans---the house is full of your things. I think a stray thought and by habit it refers to you. This is not the season for reassurances. This is not the time for a life without you. Are you in some cottage by the sea waiting for us?
In a week or so our wild cherry tree will be spilling with white flowers from every branch. Will you be there? For me, yes. Our house is surrounded by high deep forest. Hundreds of trees. As a boy, trees were my first love. You are my second---and much greater love. My darling.
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