This was how I held you in the morning, with your hair all twisted up between my knuckles, and the stickiness of sweat between our bellies. You were breathing in the quiet, and the breaths escaping spread into the nothing, and I listened, and I counted out the endings stacking silent on the clock. This was a small death also, I suppose.
We made out to be greater than the sum of checkbooks ticking, ticking: boxes, spaces, line items for kidney beans and condoms. When the well was running dry we tried to find a way to carry on the balance, without saying what Ecclesiastes whispered, dogging. “Nothing.” Meaningless, our carelessness and little drops of silence. This also was a small death, I suppose.
And then the nights of heat and hailstorm bowed us, swollen with their barometric lows, and we made love and we made war, and all your words lined up like soldiers ready to deploy, while mine were hiding. I never stopped to listen to my violence or sorrow anymore, just filled the stillborn air with paragraphs of silence. And you listened. And that emptied into many petty deaths, I know. I know.
So here it is, the eulogy of whatever it was that lingered quiet on the air of mornings, cotton quilts and sagging beds, hems of sleeves unthreading into carpet with the cobwebs… We were here. We were together. And we let it die a million times before we walked away.