I adore the rusty colors of the tree outside my window. It's true. Autumn reminds me of you, even though I see you in other seasons. I think of you often in October, when it's warm and the sky is still screaming blue, with no hint of the rain we so desperately need. I'm waiting for autumn the way I once waited for you. I take a pill and curl up at night instead of waiting with my breath held to see you walk by.
Rust is the word, and the world, forever and ever, amen. It shows me that nothing is forever, that the very air can eat holes and pits in the strongest of creations. Air and sky and waves are trying to dash you out of my memories, but you remain, stubborn and silent.
The greenest trees are outmatched by this drought, by people who still are watering their lawns in the morning and in the evening, disregarding the freshwater clams who died in dry creeks, the frogs that no longer sing in the night behind my open windows.
I have rescued plants from discount sales, I have saved fish from drowning and from dinner. But I have not spoken to you in so long, not with honesty and the love you deserve, even now.
When you died, the cliche struck me as obscene. You are a hole I cannot fill, and I am a puzzle of only edges. If you had left me for someone, at least I could hate you. I am familiar with hate, intimate and rough and salted with ash. I am less familiar with these empty spaces that taste like blood and regret.
The things we learn as we grow older are not as important as I expected, and the things that I learned when I was young, from fairy tales and stories, are the ones that have never changed.