The miracle is easy.
You kiss living flesh and draw back from the corpse,
your last memory corrupted by the taste of salt.
Later, you'll remember the scent of lavender perfume,
the light dying from the eyes,
the sun brightly ironic in the window.
Later, you'll tell yourself she's in a better place,
that she's at last free of the pain.
But you know these half truths are facile
and the unspoken thought unfair.
She left you, and she left you before she died,
as she pulled away,
as she prepared.
Later, you'll go home
and try to understand the point of cups and toothpicks,
of towels and roses and socks and tea,
how they relate to you.
You'll stare at her photo, trying to believe you can't call
and she won't answer,
the way she's always answered.
And later still, on El Día de Los Muertos
the smell of marigolds will remind you
of an afternoon, a garden, laughter like rain,
and green shoots.
Her shrine will already be tucked away inside you
and candy skulls will burn your tongue.
Every year, on this day, you'll believe the sky is gray,
and someday you'll forget why.
You'll watch the falling leaves in the golden dusk
and feel vaguely guilty for enjoying this pleasure.
The toothache in your chest will nag at you
like a spoiled child,
but your mind will wander away, dazed,
because it needs this sweet insomnia.
The miracle, you will learn, is easy.
Living with it is hard.