the star

I dove back into my work. Life was more peaceful when he stopped talking to me.

I thought of you every day. I told myself it wasn’t constraining me while I burnt patchouli oil and practiced yoga. I told myself it was liberating.

For a brief period it felt that way.

A client came to me shortly after losing her teenage son to leukemia. I held her hands with closed eyes and talked about how much it meant to her little boy that she still allowed him to play baseball even as he continued getting sick. I told him he said he was sorry he couldn’t get better and she started to cry.

“That’s exactly what he used to say to me, ‘I‘m sorry I can’t get better mommy.’ Do you have any children? You seem like you would be such an amazing parent, one any child would be lucky to have.”

Sometimes I still see our baby while I’m sleeping. I remember how we used to bathe her in the river, take turns carrying her on our shoulders. She had your eyes and my lips.

Ideas like this were forming what seemed to be the best part of this life. I was captured by contentment. I was centered, optimistic even.

I replayed the night I spent with you so many times in my mind that I didn’t realize how much time had passed since then. I wrote poems about it.

I fantasized about you. About all the lives we’ve lived together in this town.