My industrious fingernails tore their way into the soggy earth in the shadow of the gnarled avocado tree a dozen paces from where I lived. It took me the better part of the chilly night, surrounded by a cricket symphony and a baritone scale of overzealous bullfrogs but I managed to do it before the break of dawn. I dismantled the seven foot podium erected in her honour five seasons now and piece by piece, I buried it so deep down, it’s now a footnote in the echelons of my love history. I picked up the alabaster bust made to her specifications with shaky hands. It was the only piece of idolatry I allowed myself because I knew it channelled her essence into my nether regions and had thawed my frozen heart so wonderfully these past years of unbearable solitude.
I buried it.
I unskinned layers upon layers of layers of intimacy like discarded Matryoshka dolls and bared our relationship to the grinning gleaming skeleton it had become. Not that there was anything of amusement for me. Without meat to support my obsession, I saw her for what she truly was and what I saw sucked my purple gums into my jawbone. Perhaps had I chanced upon this discovery sooner, I wouldn’t have made such a braying ass of myself for such an extended period of time. Such a laugh she must have had at my expense.
Such a clown I’ve been.
I uprooted the avocado tree from its roots and had it serve in place of the grave stone. With bleeding fingernails, I scratched our names into the crusty unyielding bark as a parting gift. I drew a broken heart around our names because I finally believed what everybody already knew with startling certainty: star crossed lovers we were even though I had been too blind to see. I was too full of myself boasting how I had an eye for the beautiful late bloomers, a nose for hopeless romantics and an ear for musical heartbeats. She sang me a sad tune that built a stone bridge to my heartstrings. Her refrains were subtle tentacles I explained away as female reluctance to reveal it all. Her hooks were bastards. Only now does memory serve me in its glaring clarity. Her hooks left me bleeding left and right but I mistook the blood for tears of happiness.
No wonder she left me winded.
Now joined with the unforgiving earth I don’t even bother to say a prayer for her. She took the god of our love and raped him in front of my eyes. She took the sanctity of our whispered promises and built armies to fend off my advances. She took me out of my skin and strung me out to dry, desiccated like the month of July.
No, I do not say a prayer for her because she has all the gods she needs within her. Let her pray to herself for all I care.
I am done!