I found your letter the other day,
stuffed in the box where we kept the wedding stuff
and old tax forms,
the things we group together,
the things that are deemed important and must not be lost.
There it was,
typed out like a little book of secrets.
It was old, from the first time I moved to this city,
when the streets were still too narrow
and the people too wide. When I felt each day
they were eating me alive.
Something had me in its mouth and was chewing.
You told me it’s okay to stop writing.
That it’s okay to stop taking ourselves so seriously.
You told me about the pure joy of domesticity,
a meal well made, a curtain sewn by hand.
You talked about the beauty of women’s work,
craft, and how we all had it wrong back in college
when we tried to be like men.
Tried to write the way men write.
I read your letter twice.
Then I stood at the window,
watching the snow coming down again and I cried
because you left and I never knew why.
Because the space you occupied was real inside me
and since then nothing has ever felt real again.
And it’s stayed that way,
when I see my friends now, I watch them talk and think
someday they will leave too. Like you did. They will just be gone.
We stood together in the woods, by the river when
you were married,
and I read your vows, helped to usher you into this strange new life,
not realizing that when you walked through that gate,
you wouldn’t come back.
Not fully. Not to me.
18 hours ago