I see you, out in the world

I see you, out in the world
flickers of you, flashes of you.
I see your hands on other people’s bodies
I see your shape, under the wrong face
hints of your smile, your wink, your dimples
oh, those dimples.
I see these different parts of you,
I see

you/not you
I wonder what you would be doing if it was me who died
If it was you who was left behind to cope.
Where would you be, in all of this mess?
How would you be?

Who, even.

I saw a man in a red pickup truck behind me last night, driving home.
A man who had a long, scraggly grey beard underneath your mouth.
your hands on his steering wheel
(your truck was blue; I never saw you in it)

the other day I looked up from my desk and saw the body I used to hug
it took every ounce of willpower to not stand up and walk over to not you.

head of my table. 5 february, 2020

Soon enough, “our wonderful table” will be in my new apartment.
The movers are coming Sunday.

I’m trying to remember how we went about getting this table, and it isn’t coming to me.
I do remember discussing the improbability and absurdity of the Amish selling through a website.
I do remember showing you the stain samples they’d sent
(through the mail? pony express? horse and buggy?)
and holding them perpendicularly to each other to mimic how the top would look against the apron
(apron? the lip-thing underneath. you know.)
and not understanding so much how you couldn’t extrapolate those two small samples
into an eight-foot long table
made from 100+ year old reclaimed barn boards.
A dining room table for our stay-put-forever home.
For the dining room with the gracefully curved, bowed wall, mimicked upstairs
in our bedroom.

(something about that curved wall has always captivated me,
looking up at it the other night in bed, after
remarking, small and quiet in the near-dark, “i’m excited to go”
hot tears springing to my wide-open eyes as my unsettled, manic brain
d r a g g e d
my vision across that curve,
trying to slow it,
knowing there would not be too many more nights like this one.
none, perhaps.
A hand in mine, comforting. Lips to my forehead.
Not yours; comforting still.)

Our wonderful table, though.
I’ll sit where you used to sit,
because it is my wonderful table, now.
I plan to fill it with food and drink,
its chairs with friends and family,
the same as we had planned.
The same as we pulled off, albeit with some ugliness.
There isn’t going to be stress at this table anymore.
There isn’t going to be ugliness.
There just isn’t.

The only things I am bringing forward with me are love and light and happiness and joy.
And all of the lessons I am still learning along the way to get here.