Things are never going to be the same.
Hesitant to speak, I nod in understanding,
considering him with my full attention.
His calloused hands have been subjected to heavy strain,
yet he barely manages to lift the phone to his ear.
This phone is connected to an empty house;
the walls are decorated by oil paintings,
each room, shelf, and countertop spotless and organized.
The furnishings are old antiques
flown to Europe and back, over the last 25 years.
A long, ornate dining table stands as a time capsule;
a photo album 2 feet tall categorizes each home cooked meal
in a series of snippets- our faces together.
These materials go untouched.
Abandoned, he is the last permanent resident.
He’s sitting on a bar stool in the kitchen, overlooking the table.
Blurring over the last time we ate together as a family.
He turns over the wine glass in his fingers; knowing well
the poison will sting his flesh, chill his bones, only sink him further…
Staring into the scratches and stains of the woodwork,
He asks himself where it went wrong. He doesn’t remember.
We share a silence until he croaks out
I signed the divorce papers today.
She was my best friend, and I’ve lost her.
I do so much for your mom, but I need to give her space.
My life doesn’t matter, all I care about is you kids.
I am so proud of you. I love you.
I’ll be going away.
I never wanted to move here, you know that.
I’m going to the place my heart feels content.