The last of her

She’s on the slab when I walk in; they’re finishing the last of her. I watch them put the tiny french knots at her lips to hold the dimpled smile in place.

I run my fingers through what is left of multicolored curls and braids, and lean down to kiss crepe paper lids and feather lashes. I close my eyes and breathe her in. She smells of Glenlivet, and of Djarum blacks.

I don’t tell her I’m sorry — I didn’t tell her I’m sorry — I can never tell her I’m sorry.

I can never tell her anything again.

“I’ll watch your stupid fucking cat,” I say. I don’t cry. I’m not crying.

I wipe my eyes, and walk back out.

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