The Pearl (in honor of the necklace my grandmother gave me)

 

I suppose I’ll take better care of my nails from now on.

Your’s were always the perfect length

coated in pastel pinks

neatly curved like the edges of your smile.

Maybe I’ll take up gardening,

just to recall the fragrance of your lily-scented breath.

I’ll press my nose to the petals,

flare my nostrils to the whispering breeze

to capture every last gust

of your gentle exhalations.

Because contrary to the crystalline dew

that settles on my lawn each morning,

You, not dressed in satin blouses

You, not enveloped in my grandfather’s arms

You, not seated at our holiday dinner tables

will never settle in for me.

I wear you on a gold chain around my neck.

You dangle like a cliché above my heart,

though you were anything but cliché.

In the dark hours of night

I send you kisses from a tear-stained pillow

curl my fingers tight around a silver cross

and wait for the tips of your wings

to brush against my forehead.

In daytime, I answer questions:

“Yes, we were beyond close.”

“Yes, she was beyond amazing.”

I become disgusted with myself.

I need to expand my vocabulary

to words that embody you.

I need to stop speaking in the past tense

because you are still here holding my hand.

I’ll take you to the park with me.

I’ll conquer my fear of heights and

you’ll catch me at the edge of the tallest slide.

In July, we’ll go swimming in the pool.

I’ll always be the shortest monkey in the middle.

You’ll sit next to me on the piano bench,

while I plug away at silver bells in December

and the firelight will dance in the window reflection.

Whether I walk through a front door

across a stage down an aisle,

your pearl will drape against my flesh.

We’ll play a game of crazy eights

til I’m eighty-two like you,

and life will deal the cards,

but you’ll always let me win;

that’s just your nature.

 

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