“This is as old as you’re ever going to get.” – Dorothy Allison
- I refuse to delete your phone number and birthday from my list of contacts.
- Every day I look at photos of you (but they don’t smell like you or sound like you or smirk when I say those “big words”).
- Your ashes look like beach sand; a bag of the coast resting in an oak box in our family’s home, on a mountain.
- Your body in the coroner’s bag haunts me, your azure eyes glazed but pupils clear, head turned to the side like a child waiting to be plucked from bed.
- Our parents have become my parents, have become lost swimmers drowning, thrashing and crashing, have become waves, have become the sea.
- We carry the dog tags and Afghani coins from your deployment in our pockets.
- Your teeth, the ones you lost as a child, are still in the Aleve bottle in Dad’s medicine cabinet.
- I stole a bottle of cologne from your room. It sits on my shelf and your name, the one you wrote in permanent marker, is slowly fading from the glass.