Originally Published in Ken*Again
The egg rests in your hand, its tips pinpricked, everything inside drained out. Using light strokes and thin-hair brushes, you color the delicate shell, careful not to shatter that fragility which houses nothing.
Listless in bed, her eyes remain open, focused on a point on the ceiling. You’ve tried to reach her before, never successful.
You fill the tub with warm water and sprinkle the surface with tender red leaves—poinsettias. A small tribute to someone you still love.
One arm slid beneath the hollows of her knees, the other placed across the back of her shoulders, you heft and carry her from the bed to the bath, and set her into the water.
The soft sponge you apply with a gentle touch. She doesn’t react. She never does.
The nurses, almost always touched by your devotion, wait until the last possible moment, and then allow you a final kiss before telling you that you must leave.
Outdoors, behind the wheel of a rusted Rambler parked in the shade of an oak, your lover waits reading. She raises her face from her book and glances through the windshield. She gently smiles. She never asks why, only agrees to drive you each first Sunday of the month. She understands, your lover does, what you still share with your wife is much deeper than just devotion.