Grey skies and my thumbnail reflection in this coffee mug, I never drink coffee, I wonder why now. Music helps on days like this. Play it when I take my morning shower. Play it when I clean the closet of things I don’t need anymore, maybe never needed, but stored anyways, like that letter you wrote me once, or that picture I took of you with the rain dripping your hair into a beautiful mess. Your smile the only thing that mattered then.

Funny how things change, right?

A smile forgotten. What used to matter now the bundle I throw in the trash can. No recycling, on this day of all days, everything gone. If the street were an ocean I would throw the bottle of you into it and hope it found some lonely man on a lonely island who might still find luck in the broken shards. Or if the sky were an upside down wishing well, I would shout into it the things I wish I could forget, so maybe the clouds would suck away those nights under the stars, and the waves that crashed for me when I wrote of you on the seaside cliff with the sand throwing its flakes over my toes.

You always complained when I got sand in our bed. But wasn’t ocean sand made of you? The way it moved over me, on that cliff years ago, with or without wind, into my clothing, and my knapsack, and the journal I kept filled with everything you that I am staring at now, years later.

The sand is still in it. Not enough of it to form into a castle. Not enough of it to form into a future. Just enough to make me remember all the sheets we ruined, all the times you danced in our kitchen with moonlight beaming through the window and the sand on the kitchen floor kicking up the beauty of you in dust devil twirls. Grains of you not meant for broom bristles. The tiny grains of a tiny life spent in a quiet home with you, the staircase leading to our room, those wooden floors perfect for our sand to sleep on.

And now the carpet in my closet where I found this journal inhales your sand and never gives it back, the sand too small now, insignificantly lost in the carpet fibers, those ugly browns I have never been okay with, and the vacuum is the only way for me to suction you back.

But my power is out.

And the electricity is gone.

And the sand is only sand, nothing more, so I leave it there, and continue my cleaning, wondering what element will captivate me next, and whether it will stick to me like you did, or if it will wash away from me like you did, or if it will run its fingers through my hair like you did, or if it will make me a man like you did, or if it will ever whisper to me on nights when nothing else matters, like the night the moon paled to the milk we used for dipping cookies, like the night when the sound of the television paled to the wordless stares you gave me, like the night when everything in the world paled to you gently breathing on my neck, after saying the three words I always wanted to hear…


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