Deep Cat Scratch

The phone was ringing. I knew it was her. I remembered standing stupidly on the pier in spring, the rain almost hard, cold, thinking I might actually be swept into the water, and looking desperately into the dark and asking God to deliver her to me. I had written a letter to my future, promising everything of me. I was to be with her, know her forever. Yes, I did that. I thought it was some kind of rite into adulthood when it was just delaying it instead. IMAG2364I waited in the thick leather chair some year later and watched an old movie on television. There was something wrong with the sound. She was hiding in the shadows. She had been dead for years. I was happy when she came out, almost a lion, her shoulders moving high on her back. After all of these years, her travels and disappointments, the magic of our days suddenly back in reach. She was aloof. Worse. And I thought she was going to go. It looked like she was. But then she was holding me and said, “I want this too.” The words were only half formed, but they were clear. It was a promise. She was sprawled across me, her entire body there, and I held her just to feel what it was like to touch a body I had loved and find the tremor gone.