It is the mundanity of the act,
of envisioning your hand gently wrapped around the copper kettle.
Obstinately gripping the pen, while you wring a sheet of paper dry for the right words.
You, cupping my face as if you were holding something precious.
As if I might slip through your fingers.
It is this devastating simplicity that obliterates every shard of my being.
A brick wall, left at the mercy of a gleaming sledgehammer
that is determined to turn everything to dust.
I see your hands everywhere.
In the haze of steam and shower curtains,
the lines dragged in velvet throw pillows,
the cloudy smudges left on a glass of water.
They run faint paths through my hair, their touch ghosts against my eyelid.
If I stare long enough,
your palm is right there, pressing into mine.
Silver cuts through the air and delivers a redundant blow.
The dust scatters once more.
You did not leave a hole
the way everyone said you were bound to.
Empty space cannot exist without everything that surrounds it, yields to it, forgives it,
validates its gaping hollowness.
Empty space is a needle and thread on the dresser, a sellotape dispenser on the desk, a container of soup left on the doorstep with a get-well-soon scribbled on the lid.
Empty space is where you can see remnants of what once was whole.
The faith and conviction that bit by bit, you will put your fragmented pieces back together again.
The nothing you left was so thick and suffocating
that it permeated every room,
filled my lungs to bursting capacity and left me gasping for more.
Its sickly, bitter fragrance danced relentlessly in my nostrils,
as though my suffering was the sweetest symphony ever heard.
It waltzed until I could feel it rising in my throat and leaking from my eyes,
twirled until my head spun.
The nothing you left insisted on making its presence known my every waking moment
and then gleefully romped its way into my nightmares.
It was so quiet, though.
A resigned quiet, like that of the ****** swinging in the gallows,
when everybody holds their breath to watch the pendulum sway.
The crossbeam glistens with last night’s rain and
they trudge back home, muttering to themselves as the dust settles beneath their feet.
I sink into sheets creased by your fingers and watch it sway.