Decay

I came back from grieving you a few minutes ago.
I spent the next hour making an omelette for myself.
I stood at the kitchen counter,
Slicing the tomatoes you love.
I hate tomatoes.
Also, I am vegan.

I found several smells inside your closet.
The smell of your cologne,
And the smell of your decaying sweat.
I also smelled a lingering smell of my closet.
You had forgotten to tuck them out of your large pockets
Where my hands had been, 15 years ago,
When I first met you.

I checked your bedroom to find anything to clear,
I found in your drawer – keys, words, letters – all belonging to another woman.
I wonder if she was clearing your side of bed on her bed.
Maybe she was picking your hair off
Her unmade bed,
Where your brain decided to zap you clean.
Maybe she is dusting off her arms for some piece of you,
That you forgot to take with you into the fire,
that carried you up in pieces of black,
and pungent vapours.
Things that are spent and used,
Things that are not supposed to live as long as humans.
Dusty fingerprints coated old cigarette lighters,
And below heavy metal fuel,
I find a dingy, sepia of unruly picnic hair.
I am smoulder brown,
You – black.
And somehow I could be that woman again,
I could be smooth and sharp,
I could sandpaper away on my skin
And find some old residue lying under layers of years,
If I could only find you again.

If these walls have seen me,
They mock me for the food I cooked,
They try to drape me in shame and worry,
Too careful that if I find something to actually grieve for,
Everything will become a meaningless pursuit,
To be passionate for.
Minutes of fire,
Like the first second of a burning of a matchstick,
Fire’s arms reaching for some exquisite star that born it,
But ending up in waxy remnants of false hopes.
I could not live my life off five years, I am so sorry.
I am sorry you invested in a woman who has nothing to remember you by.
A decrepit, loveless… childless woman,
Who forgot that in order to be loved,
You need to become that first stir of the sun,
That you need to wind yourself into moving,
That for once, you could open your mouth,
and just ask for help.

Love,
I finally found a 5 year old lovestruck key.
Funny how it lay underneath layers of pantyhose in my otherwise clean closet.
He had given me the handkerchief to give me something,
To remember him by,
After he had kissed my dewy eyes,
Mind you, love,
That is all that he touched his lips to.
And he left as soon as you had knocked the door,
To tell me how much you loved her.
I wondered his smell into me,
Mapping his every handprint on every door,
His every step into every room in the entire world.
And I had no idea how far we had strewn across the world.
Maybe he lay several timezones away,
Or maybe he was so close that I could touch his breath
With my fingertips.
I memorised how much taller he was than me,
I recalled it,
I brought him back from wherever he was,
And created him, created his foamy, frothy image,
And loved it like I didn’t care if it destroyed me.
And I realised that when you left me the first time around,
I was crying because I lost his smell,
Over the stink of a marriage.
Love,
I finally found the strength to cry.

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