Listen to author

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

My reflection is kind, it says that I should move on, that I am still pretty in the way strippers can be when the harsh lights are off and the makeup is still on, that dying is pretty permanent, and that there isn’t anything you can do to permanent, though the hair color I used to use to be pretty for him was permanent, but it wasn’t permanent in the way that dying is, the way that I have come to find out dying is.

Through what appears to be a nautical window I cannot stop watching his clothes in the way I cannot stop watching the soap operas in the way I cannot stop watching the men return from the dead and kiss their wives on the lips hard.

He was a Methodist and therefore had a method and preferred to line the bigger plates first and the smaller ones next, the coffee cups went on top and the bowls in the middle, the utensils placed sharp part first, only half a bar of detergent was used, rinse agents were optional, low soil only, no heating because he hated to waste money and electricity.

We’d been lazy and stupid and ungrateful and thrown it at each other, the crack along the side like one big charbroiled tear.

Every morning, the door opens and that half-eaten bagel stares while I tell it “good morning,” the crust matted with green spores that look like drops of antifreeze, the teeth-marks a dentist would approve, and I tip-toe around it, making pleasant conversation, looking forward to lunch when I will see it and talk to it again and maybe this time it will talk to me too.