She sits alone, her feet in the grass, her head buried in her arms.
She wishes for silence, but the only silenced thing is her own voice. Within, the small sharp-clawed animals that are her thoughts rip at softness. Against the insides of her eyelids, she is devoured, her hopes and dreams bloody fleshed tatters between hungry razored teeth.
She wishes for silence. She trusts silence. Silence means only that which one needs.
Silence is malleable.
Although . . .
Once, she trusted in the silences of him, trusted in the silences because they spoke to her of what she desired. Only now does she see that the silences spoke in her own voice of her own dreams. With wanting fingers, she pressed and pinched and smoothed the spaces into which his quiet reverberated. Shaped those trembling weighted silences into love . . . into commitment . . . into forever . . . into a life. She trusted in the reach of his hand, in the upturned corners of his lips, in the press of his body against hers, in the welcoming hollows of his neck as she filled them with tears. So many promises she wrung from his gestures, and now she is left to wonder what he perhaps meant to actually say.
Whether he ever meant to say anything at all.
She holds unseen hands before shuttered eyes and lets slip between fingertips the shards of glassine quietude she once tried to shape and fire into something that would hold her close.
Knowing now that she has been alone all along, how will she go on?
As the bits of sharp unyielding truth fall away, she wills silence, despite the fact it has betrayed her with its emptiness. She presses herself hard into the void; she will take comfort from the nothing. She will make for herself a room of hushed refusal, and in it she will sleep.
Slight vibrations intrude upon her withdrawal, the vibrations of his footsteps as he walks through the house behind her. These vibrations will shatter her into a million pieces, she is certain, and a shuddering breath of acceptance rakes through her being. His footsteps will vibrate a resonant frequency against her very soul, and she will give way. She will give way along every crack and fissure all at once, and she will be ended.
She opens her eyes, resigned to the obliteration.
For a moment, she is filled with wonder at having felt nothing in the end’s arrival. She runs her hands along the length of her arms. She is still whole, and yet here she also is, strewn about the yard like confetti . . . or snowflakes . . . or dreams . . . or petals.
The grass before her is covered in pink-edged bits of white. She inhales deeply of the richly fragranced air, only now aware of the scent. The small plum tree just beyond the back deck has blanketed the ground with soft silken petals, each perfect white bit of curved satin rimmed in pink. As she stares, more petals fall, a silent warm-breezed snowstorm.
She presses herself into the silence, breathes deeply of its richness, stretches and kneads it into a shape that will hold her close.
Still the vibrations of his movements reach her; she feels them shudder within her flesh, pounding out a message of echoed departure. He is lost to her, but there are still steps to be taken after the leaving. It occurs to her this is all of him that has ever truly reached her . . . the lingering residue of his intention, but not the intention itself. Perhaps, she thinks sadly, their entire relationship has been only the reading of increasingly degraded echoes thrown across the chasm between them.
She tucks her cheek against her knees and draws herself up small, hums a childhood tune of comfort against her skin to cancel the vibrations of his leaving.
Into her silence which is filled with noise and its effects comes another buzzing sound.
An enormous bumblebee, soft and dusty-striped, its wings a blur of translucent mirrored fragility, hovers just above the snowy petaled landscape at her feet. His noise is less a buzz, she now realizes, than a low pulsed thrumming. Watching him for a moment, it appears that he is looking for something. He dips to blow winged air against the petals, and the petals respond, floating slightly and delicately skyward on his exhalations. She watches as, again and again, he rustles the petals about and investigates the spaces he has emptied. The air from his wings acts as tiny puffs of exploratory breath, resurrecting the petals for a final moment of drifted dance before they fall, more permanently, earthward.
What is he looking for?
What is there to find?
Leaning low and forward to gather a handful of petals, clearing earth as she does so, she brings open palms to her lips. She blows a deep throaty note across her skin and across the bits of flowered surrender. The petals sail into the air, releasing fragrance as they waft, their tiny curves slowing their descent.
Their tiny cupped curves . . . a mirror of her own cupped palms.
Tiny cupped curves and the spaces they reveal . . . a welcoming hollow into which she will pour her tears.
She begins to dig.
First with her hands, and then with all her being . . . the small vicious animals that are her thoughts urge her forward and offer clawed assistance.
What she seeks lies beneath the petals.
She will wrest from the earth a silence that will hold her close.
She will make for herself a room of hushed refusal, and in it she will sleep.
The world vibrates with the sounds of departure.
An echoing of loss.