My eyes land on the photo: the two of us at Nantucket harbor, the sunset glowing behind us, a gaudy Mai Tai, while I stare into the camera, serious as the wind whips my hair, but he looks at me, eyes soft, mouth curved in a small smile. I pull the picture from its Lucite frame, gaze at it nestled in my opened hands, and tear it; the rip cleaves his face in two, a jag of white interrupts his smiling mouth, but then I shred the pieces in half again, and again, until my hand fills with ragged-edged papers. For a reason unfathomable to me, I blow; the soft shards float in the air like dandelion seeds parachuting on a gentle spring breeze, scattering and drifting downward, covering the bed, my slippers, the cracks between floor boards, scores of pieces reflecting his hair and mouth and shirt and hands and eyes. I fall on my knees, scramble to pick them up, but the small bits hover in the invisible drafts created by my outstretched hands, eluding me.
God, he’ll always be with me.
I sob again.
Excerpted from BRIGHTER THAN BRIGHT. A similar version appeared in Six Sentences, Volume I, 2008.
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