I’m too late.
I’m too late every goddamned time.
I see her in the bottom of the bathtub, looking like she’s soaked in wine, her clothes and hair dyed faded rust-copper.
I saw her on the tracks, crumpled and scattered like newspaper flyers in the wind.
I saw her in the alley, her cheek split where it hit the pavement after the most graceful dehydrated swan dive ever made.
I saw her hanging from the ceiling fan, hanging from a rafter, hanging from a heating duct, hanging from a light fixture, but the worst of those was when she was hanging from the door handle of the bedroom. She could’ve just sat up, at any time. There weren’t even halfmoons where her fingers would’ve dug in. She didn’t even try.
I saw her, gun in hand, teeth and eyelashes like confetti all down the fire escape.
I saw her froth-lipped on the bathroom floor, navy eyes gone milky.
I find her again and again and again, on slabs, on tables, in chains, in dumpsters, in one trash bag, in ten trashbags. Even when it isn’t her, it’s her, and I can’t sleep. I am late, too late, always too late. Her eyes are never accusing. They never blame me. But all the same, she’s there, gone, here, gone, and her hands are cold every time I find her. I put my hand in hers and I try to tell her I’m sorry.
I try to tell her I’m sorry, that I’ll try harder.
I’ll get there faster next time.
Next time, I’ll find her, before she gives up again.