They see full sun every four to six o’clock, the
her and the me of six months ago swaddled in
light just as we were on the days they were
taken. Our colours are becoming muted but
our smiles are no less vibrant.
The sailboat we both had tattooed on our arms
the day before she left has settled into my skin
like it has always lived there. We only saw them
fresh and raw and rich black and now I wear mine
like someone else forging my signature and I
do not wonder how she wears hers.
Perhaps one day she and I will meet and I
will be wearing the shirt I wore on our first
date. She will tell me its print has faded
in a way I have not seen because I have been
with it during the years she wasn’t here. I put it
into and took it out of every wash.
Nobody sees a screw loosening itself until it
falls out, and I too am coming undone, slowly. Soon
something will fall out of me so quietly as to be
imperceptible. They say your whole body renews
itself every seven years. If she returns I will not
be the person she left. An entirely new skin will be
shrouded over my bones. Perhaps we will pass
in the airport, strangers with matching tattoos.
It doesn’t matter if I take the photos down and
throw them away, or leave them to fade to
milky white; the effect is the same, and everyone
lies when they claim whether they would want
a slow death or a quick one.