No More Than Two

for Cindy

When someone you love dies 600 miles away from you, it will feel like you are on a different planet entirely. You will claw at your cellphone trying to shove the words back into the speaker, try to go back just 5 minutes before her body made one last plea for the heart it created, the heart it grew. You will cry. That goes without saying, but it needs to be said because you will cry, so much and for so long. And when you think you’re done, you will hunch over in the pain of regret and cry some more.

You will not understand. You will search everywhere and wonder why her death is not breaking news. Why cars on the road continue to move, why laughter is still a sound, why the earth has not stopped rotating, why you are still even here.

Then you will apologize. You speak between fits and into the open air as if it were her open ear and you say,  “I’m sorry.”  A hundred times you say that, because you are sorry for 10 years of stranger. Sorry for daydreaming about great heights and your ruby blood. You are sorry for having bad days that turn into bad weeks into bad months into bad years. You are sorry for wasting a live she so richly deserved.

Maybe you will pray. You will try to face the God you’ve been avoiding in old testament anger and ask for a favor. Not for yourself, for her mother, sister. For every life she was a part of, and the one she so generously reignited inside of you.