I sold my car & started walking home from work. When my coworkers asked why, I told them I wanted to walk through Tibbetts Park to look at the leaves turn into snake scales—the kind of vermillion like the lipstick I imagine wearing on a date, yellows and greens bright as stained glass. Sometimes, it happened that way. I would walk home, past the storefronts selling coffee & cheap lingerie, usually avoiding puddles because rain & autumn are actually the same thing.
My heels would sink in the dirt. Closing my eyes, I always imagined I was falling through quicksand—and at any moment—someone would grab my hands, dragging me down into a freezing underworld. Sometimes, I wished for it to happen, for someone to grab me out of nowhere—it would be the first time I was touched since Alex died. Instead, I watched dogs walked with their owners, burying their bones.
Occasionally, I would pick up a tennis ball & hand it back, awkwardly making small talk about work, what we do in our free time. Yes, I would nod, appearing to be understanding, interested—it was at this moment I would be asked for dinner. We don’t forget our loved ones—we just accept their corpse.
(I wrote this during Hurricane Sandy.)