We only talk about death

We only talk about death.
I suppose that’s fitting because We died, too.
A long, drawn out, public, and painful death.
A love that caught fire and burned everyone in its path.
Before turning to ash.
Ashes to ashes.
Dust to dust.
Till death do us part.
We didn’t have kids.
We didn’t stay friends.
We don’t live in the same town.
The only thing left to discuss is death.
The true trump card.
You called me when her mother died.
I emailed you when your uncle passed.
Short pleasantries and then getting right to the point.
I know what happened, and I’m sorry.
On some level, I still don’t know what happened but
I am sorry.
Nearly a decade together.
Eating, sleeping, breathing, talking.
And now Nothing.
Sometimes I have morbid thoughts.
I wonder whose death would be significant enough to contact you about.
Would you come to the wake?
Would we speak to each other?
I saw you and you saw me.
But I was with him, and you were with her.
And it was just easier to pretend we were strangers.
I wonder if anyone saw the fleeting panic on both of our faces.
I flashed back to the day after our engagement.
It was at the funeral of his mom.
His mom.
People tried to smile, act happy for us, say congratulations.
But it was a funeral.
And our marriage began with a cloud of black hanging over it.
Of course, I couldn’t see it then.
All I saw were rainbows and unicorns.
Young. Happy. Stupid.
I thought I knew everything and had life figured out.
I knew nothing.
But I would soon learn.
The nothingness would become my life.
If there had been a funeral for our marriage, what would the eulogy have said?
They seemed like such a good match on paper.
They were young when they met, and people grow apart.
She was a whore. He didn’t deserve this.
All of the above.
Or maybe someone would have stood up and said
I saw it coming.
The way you see someone with a terminal illness clawing and fighting to hold on.
There’s always a last push of life.
You let yourself believe,
Maybe it will be OK.
Maybe they’ll beat this.
But deep down you know.
And everyone knows.
You’re just dying a slow death.

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