later, much later, i will eulogize you faithlessly.
i will tell everyone you were a mercurial force of nature sweeping into my life with the sheer, violent force of waves crashing recklessly against weathered stone. i will paint those years with wide, vivid brushstrokes of color, overlapping the boundaries of reality as carelessly as you slammed doors and scattered cigarette ash. i will get drunk in dive bars and trace your name in watery rings, slur my words and my memories in my retelling of our romance. i will rewrite the late nights and sunday mornings in iambic pentameter, glorifying the way your body moved against me, the color of your hair in sunlight that bled through broken blinds, the thrill of your uninhibited laugh reverberating in my ears. that you were a woman with a passport inked as heavily as your arms, a wild and unbreakable spirit fired by jet fuel, destined to roam through uncharted territory. that the ligature of my mortgage statements and the 90 degree angles of my ties created spaces that trapped you, intersecting lines of banalities like bars on a cage that kept you pacing like a restless tiger. i will tell your parents that your strengths were my weaknesses, i will tell your friends that you were designed for adventure, i will tell myself (when i find a pillowcase that still smells like your perfume, when i crumple up mail catalogs still faithfully addressed to you) that you would not be contained, could not be contained- because the only way to handle it was to romanticize it.
because the truth of it wasn't poetic panacea or a bittersweet revelation, because nobody wanted to read a story about a selfish, irresponsible protagonist. and the facts of it laid bare against paper would've read dry and bitter, encyclopedic recitations about a bored and vapid woman who chased adrenaline and refused accountability, teenage vices stoking a junkie's mind. and the years we spent together were only a poorly calculated mistake, some unfactored algebra carrying you over the threshold and propelled by inertia, the mundane day-to-day like your habitual, jittery chainsmoking- forgetting your keys, forgetting your phone, forgetting to leave. and it was always more fog than storm, your temper waxing and waning to leave an exhausted, blurry cast to the canvas. you were blues, grays, yellows in a small and mean watercolor better left in storage than framed.
but later, much later, i will stand beside your casket and invent a narrative better suited for your long hair and tall tales, i will stand at the crossroads of fact and fiction and choose the path of least resistance- that same path i chose ten years ago when i first met you at a house party and you purred take me home with you in my ear. i took you home, and you took me down, but i have one last kindness left in me to rewrite both of our mistakes- the final act of the final play.
i eulogize you as a tempest.