Wednesday, January 8


$120,000 TWD

In the morning, it felt small.
I knew it was his last day.
We'd said goodbye more than once
already. I brushed it off.
The truth has a way of not
being looked at.

But after my second job, driving home
in the hot dark
I had to face it squarely:
he was gone.

It felt important to go there,
just now, to his home,
to feel how gone he was.
To see his empty bed.

He used to live just over there --
By the beach, behind the fishing shop.
He had some rusty pots.
Tall grass grew near his door.
He hung his own laundry on a rack.

But when I arrived, I saw
I was now in the past.
Silence lived here.

His house, unlocked, was thick with night
it pooled in the corners,
waiting for me to leave.
There was no electricity.
I groped for a doorknob
and pushed. I smelled him
but on entering, all I saw
were his things.

It was alarming how so many pieces of
him remained there -- things you wouldn't think
that one would leave, even if one were in a hurry.
Useful electronics, notebooks with small writing,
Folded clothing in bags. Laid out neatly.
I began to feel that he might
walk in and find me there, staring.
It was a suspicious situation.

I wondered how long, when would some
other person deconstruct this room,
remove him completely.
I wondered how long before his absence
was realized, and this museum was broken.
It seemed inevitable.
The darkness encouraged it from the corners,
giggling breathlessly.

It was an unsentimental time.
I knew how much it would have cost
to keep him there.
but I didn't know how much it would cost
to see him go.