I thought I left you in the summertime with the foxgloves we planted in the backyard by the fence. Our hands, together, in thick flower beds should have been the end of it, the end of the memories, but autumn, with its cold heart, has given you back to me in the most painful way.
This season has cast you in light and shadows. I catch you in the sky, which in its wild confusion, has become the same dark grey of your eyes. I gaze at the warm blues and tangerines that soak into the city and find you sitting by the window, making watercolour soak into canvas. I slip my hand in my coat when the nights are wet and feel you. I breathe into the frigid air when the nights are cold and hear you. The silence of this season makes your voice so clear.
I want you gone. Why must you follow me to the fireplace and to the woods and the lake?
This morning, when raindrops still pearled the grass, I watched a ghostly mist crawl down the mountainside and through the forest and I thought it was bringing you to me. I think this way these days.
Are you the sparrow that waits on the dying branches of the oak outside our window?
Or the gentle sound of rain flowing off the eaves?
Are you the pale bits of light struggling through the clouds?
If so, stay. Autumn has given you back to me in the most beautiful way.
Somewhere in the space between life and death, a man waits under the oily light of a streetlamp with a palette knife. As night falls, he takes a paintbrush and remakes the world. He paints memories into that liquid space called nature with colours she would recognize. He makes the skin of the lake an icy white. He layers the sparrow’s voice with bright tones. He colours the maple leaves with reds as deep as his love.