I didn’t get a goodbye. We’d had a fight. About having kids. I wasn’t even mad anymore, I just wanted her to know that I was serious—that I was capable of being serious. I left without our hug. That was our thing. She’d glom onto me like two cells becoming one. Always. My last memory of her—that broken look welling up in her eyes when I walked out. That.
Now this fresh hell. Not even her corpse to hold. Just her socked foot in a Croc. Her cauterized arm. An active murder/arson investigation. The never ending parade of insurance adjusters and experts. My tragedy scrolling across a chyron every half-hour. Her shadow burnt onto the recliner. A life of cinder and ash.
People forget you are a human being. That you loved. That you need to grieve. Just questions. More questions. Always the same questions. Always curiosity, speculation in lieu of condolences. I got an email yesterday that said “in these cases, the fire always originates within the body and burns outwards.” As if I didn’t know that I’d caused this. As if the flames could ever hug me back.
David Joez Villaverde is a Peruvian American multidisciplinary artist with forthcoming or recently published work in Crab Fat Magazine, Occulum, Mortar Magazine, Dream Pop Press, Moonchild Magazine, Ellipsis Zine, The Fanzine, and Grimoire Magazine. He resides in Detroit and can be found at schadenfreudeanslip.com or on Twitter @academicjuggalo