Lately, I've been missing you. Not in the sense of wishyouwerehere. That's picture postcard missing, the kind of missing you execute casually, like a legal U-turn or the gradual drifting of your vehicle from the freeway into the exit lane.
I don't, actually, wish you were here.
What would you do here, anyway? You have no place in my day-to-day life. I don't have the facilities for you; I don't meet your requirements. You've never seen where I live, or who I married, or anything of mine, other than a handful of poems. These you read gimlet-eyed, an editor to the dregs of yourself.
You have no place in anyone's daily life but your own.
Which is why I wish I were there, in your house. Your house, the vital organ. For decades, it sustained you: the careful arrangement of the books under the trio of skylights, the shelf of pots next to the stove. You harvested the garden when it was time, walked down to the bay when it was time, sat and stared at the sea when it was time. The house filtered the poisons of the world. It beat time. Its chambers were choked with breath.
Instead of the house, I think about blueberries. They were all up and down the back of the place. Every morning, you would turn away from them, head into the study to write. Writing made you angry. They no longer made the typewriter ribbon you needed. In order to repair your machine, you drove hours to Bangor down the coastal roads. You decried planned obsolescence: it was a conspiracy, our appliances rising up against us! Dying pissed you off royally. There was work left. There were words left.
I abandoned you there. I dragged an old tin bucket out from underneath the sink and wandered down toward the shore. There were berries the whole way down, constellations of berries, galaxy after galaxy of berries, the earth a stubborn sky. I picked as many as I could get my hands on. There were always more, some deep blue, some covered in a milky caul. Presently, my fingers ached. The dark came drifting down.
At exactly nine PM they'd read a poem the radio. You'd be in the kitchen, waiting. I wandered in and dropped my bucket. You set your hand to the rim.