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On the day my lover would die

Sliced white and brown mushrooms on brown wooden table.

For a moment, only for one
I would wish them this pain
instead of me.
Sitting in the kitchen
the news would be still fresh
like the sliced mushrooms on my counter,
I would hear my lover’s name
for the first time across years
and across geographical constraints
that modernity has failed to obliterate.
I would stop seeing in the next moment
my lover’s face
half-hidden by their hair
or by their proximity – that unbearable closeness
when you can still see their mouth
the inside of their cheeks
the little jut of their teeth
it’s all I would remember
of my lover.
No matter how long I would try to stretch that moment
I would then get up to close the windows
to fill my kitchen with a warmth that might resemble their embrace.
I would clutch at the edges of forgetting and remembrance
and feel exhausted with the effort
my mind no longer allowing me the
the luxury and the grief of recalling.
And before yet another moment makes its hasty exit
I would go play a song – one from decades ago
that they sung to me then
that I would sing to them now.
And while it plays and I hum along that half-forgotten tune,
I would take the cut mushrooms and add them to the broth
by the time the song ends,
I would have their favourite Japanese curry cooked for dinner.
I would eat it alone, with rice.
I would once again be theirs, in memory
on the day my lover would die.

Cover Image: Photo by James Kern on Unsplash