Terms of Bereavement

That side of my bed is cold as death.

It fills me with such emptiness.

The lingering scent of absence

haunting the corners as if

they had a right to be there anymore.

I stare at the dreams we once

shared together

as they drift like chipped paint

on a breathless breeze from my ceiling.

I lose the fragmented pieces

as they get swept up each Monday

on chore day.

I recognize the longing for the echoed laughter,

the heat of your kiss,

the flesh of our creation sweating drops of love

onto my flesh on a Sunday afternoon.

I remember that night I stayed up

soaking your t-shirt with rejection

that you soothed with caresses of forgiveness.

I roll away from death

even as I reach my hand to grasp the pillow

that no longer smells like you

even though I’ve not changed the fabric case.

I’d hoped that it would imprison the thoughts

that made “we” an

unbreakable, indivisible, apocalyptic force

to be reckoned with in our unity.

I pull the blanket your mother made for you

(on our fourth Christmas wed)

over my head

tasting the salt of my regret

that I didn’t know that was the last.

That side of my bed is coffin cold.

It fills me with such emptiness.