Event Horizon

After you died, I felt like making out with your pillow
before ripping it to shreds,
stuffing the feathers into a burrito
and eating it with enough Sriracha
to make my nose run—
but it wasn’t because I loved you or missed you.

It was because you collected National Geographic
magazines since college, and now a small stack
of those yellow-bordered books lay under the mail slot
covered in dust, the dog’s piss, and other domestic detritus
I can’t be bothered with anymore.

It was because you would quote Pushkin or Gogul
whenever I asked you to take out the trash.

It was because every corner of our house is
ingratiated with you:
your butt print on the corner sofa seat,
your coffee mug taunting me from the cupboard,
your bathrobe,
your clothes,
your pillow.

Your stupidly expensive, down pillow that still smells like you.

It was because our story ended, before it barely began.
It’s because I found out it’s going to be a girl.

It’s because I am just skin and bones now,
particles and fragments of my former whole self,
orbiting the edges of a black hole,
a forced heartache that is
and completely inescapable.

Renuka Raghavan

Blackness: Night before Ash Wednesday, 2020
Fables for Aesop