He takes a pillow and retreats to the couch. Now would be the time to say something if there is something to say, I think. But, my voice is hoarse from disuse and I can’t bring myself to leap from this skin to his. To reach out a hand and pull him in. So, I brush my teeth roughly and look those eyes in the mirror while I do. Spit and lean my head against the glass. I’d cry tears for him, for us, if I had them in me. I’m dry as the desert around us, parched and crumbling. I’ve got nothing in me to give. There will be no flowers here. My body—in what appears to be an act of self-preservation—has numbed all areas surrounding my heart. I am blue in the face from struggling to turn this empty ache into something tangible. Just one damn tear, please.
My skin is brown again from the pool-side rays. I’m afraid that if I walked into those sandy mountains I might disappear. Lay down and fade away. Become one more rock on the hillside or turn to dust as the wind scattered my ashes beneath the indifferent sky. Maybe. Or maybe I would be just as lost up there as I am down here—blinking stupidly into the sun.
He tells me to remember. But, my memory is already doing what it does best, censoring and blurring and locking the pain away into tiny separate containers stacked high on a shelf somewhere in my mind. I feel like he needs me to cry. As if these tears—dry behind my eyes—will bring new life like the rain. Maybe they would. Maybe all I need is for tears to kiss that burnt soil inside me and offer it some relief, marry it in promises of hope for a green and fragrant future. But, the sky offers no opinion and the clouds obscuring my vision stay pregnant with disbelief.
I struggle and I toss and I turn and I reach blindly into the empty space beside me and the tears? The tears never come.