accident when we needed

they buried you on a sunday.

so many hands were touching me, so many consoling pats and kind brushes and arms clasping and mouths moving, all i could see were tears and lips and teeth. the funeral was a many-limbed monster of grief and i was its prey standing in silent repose. all i could do was stare at the ground. wet and sinking slowly, the dirt became mush and the mush became quicksand, and all the stringy, glossy ropes of grass were not enough to keep you from being dragged beneath the earth. i could not save you from falling.

the grief monster wreathed me with its fawning arms and told me anecdotes about you, jokes you used to make and sentiments i might never have heard. the monster smiled with its multiple mouths, said you would always love me. it gathered up its purses, umbrellas, prayers, and left in a flurry of tears. it had places to go and people to see, homes flooded with yellow light and warm hugs upon return. someone to hold and fall asleep with at night.

i stood beside you and thought about bones.

about your clavicle, where it met your sternum. about the hours i spent lying tangential to your body geometry, the hours drifting like dust particles in hot sunlight. you always framed me perfectly. when we were young we memorized each other with fingertips, as slowly and seriously as reading braille. written on your body were secret, invisible texts. i studied with hands and you taught me with skin. with muscle. with bones. your beautiful limbs like sun-warmed marble spilling moonlight across dark sheets, the topography of my love.

now your bones were falling away from me, and lifetimes would pass before time and rain and change could erode away the earth to bring you back to me. by then they would be cracked and yellowed with age, unrecognizeable by wear. and no archaeologist would ever know that you were a man who loved a woman, whose body imprinted hers through a thousand sleepless nights.

bones and rubble and dust and dirt.