The shadow wore Gucci.
She picked out his last suit from the stash he kept in the trunk of the Lincoln Continental GT, the one with the keypad lock. She could tap the code in her sleep.
She leaned against the kitchen island, poured Chardonnay, & waited for the meds to kick in.
After the funeral, she started cutting the suits into tiny identical squares, the way she diced tomatoes, stacking them into neat piles in the closets & under the beds.
He hovered by the dishwasher.
The tubes, oxygen, wheelchair, morphine had all become necessary evils in the end—the four fucking horsemen, he had joked, coughing & taking another drag.
This form cut a confident silhouette.
Stay awhile, I guess, how does that song go? He floated under the artificial daylight to an empty chair & held out his hand.
A constellation of tiny, jagged stars twinkled in the swirling dark of his palm. Cubic Zirconia, she thought, as they clattered onto the blonde oak table.
His sleeve began to unravel, his hand to dissipate. She wished she could see his eyes, his tell, but the darkness was fading now, sinking into the linoleum.
The Sunday after he died, she stole letters off the church marquee because what did they actually know of ghosts, holy or otherwise?
She slapped them down on the table like she was dealing: REAL TURKEY SUPPER
His silent laughter rattled the silverware.
She contemplated the empty bottle—squinted her eyes at it until it wavered & split into two. The suit had uncoiled itself into a single tangled thread, his body an inkblot on the tiles.
She pulled out leftovers from the fridge.
Cigarette smoke & unfamiliar perfume clung to the air between them.
Some things even death can’t change.
She stepped over what remained, to the microwave, & hit reheat setting 1. She stared at the slow spinning plate, counting the clunks made with each rotation.
Maybe they were diamonds this time.
Summer J. Hart is an interdisciplinary artist from Maine, living in the Hudson Valley, New York. Her written and visual narratives are influenced by folklore, superstition, divination, and forgotten territories reclaimed by nature. Her poetry appears in Northern New England Review, vol 39 & Third Point Press, Issue 14. Her mixed-media installations have been featured in galleries including Pen + Brush, NYC, Gitana Rosa Gallery at Paterson Art Factory, Paterson, NJ, & LeMieux Galleries, New Orleans, LA. She is a member of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation. WEBSITE | INLIQUID SITE