Legends

What happens if I let the memory of you flood my basement bedroom? What happens if I work again to acknowledge that you are gone, and not returning, and yet admit you live so fully in the everyday legends of my heart?

I once sat on a bus in Portland. It was cold and raining. (I didn’t know I would one day be missing you.)
I looked up, and above the windows and wires, there was a poem written. It has never left me. I don’t know who wrote it. I don’t want to.

Perhaps that is unkind to the author who penned the lines, but I don’t care about kindness. Not right now. Because the world that took you, the hate that killed you, was unkind. And maybe matching that unkindness with my inability to care for the human soul that wrote these lines feels a little bit like justice to me.

“Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.”

I wondered who I would feel those words for. I somehow knew I hadn’t yet experienced what absence was truly like. Not like I know it to be now.

And this week I have been pushing your face far from my heart. I won’t look at you in a Mexico sunset, laughing about your latest love. I won’t feel your hugs that swallowed every human whole. And I’ll be damned if I’ll spend one minute thinking about how much your little brother carries you through the world. With every laugh. Every gesture. Every kind text.

I’ll be damned. You are missing from me, and I chose this week to remember. And feel it.

“Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.”

*The poem, in fact, is called “Separation” by W. S. Merwin.

 

About Bethany Bylsma

Bethany is a 2nd-year MACP student who is working to fill her 3rd passport. She enjoys driving her car, Rodger (especially towards the mountains), strong coffee, and you can count on her for good movie recommendation. She hopes to one day own and live on a small farm.

Bethany Bylsma

Bethany is a 2nd-year MACP student who is working to fill her 3rd passport. She enjoys driving her car, Rodger (especially towards the mountains), strong coffee, and you can count on her for good movie recommendation. She hopes to one day own and live on a small farm.

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