Can’t help you there, came the man. Time to come on out from there.
Dirt on his tongue. She’s in there. Dirt in his eyes.
That ain’t her no more, said the man.
All that dirt in her breaths. Deirdre and the candy pink of her toenails. Deirdre and them dirty feet. Tiptoeing across the porch just the night before. Ruined blade in his hands, shimmering useful as a fish. Gerald at the chipped white kitchen table, night after night these ninety-two days. Crackers cheese beer, all that silence and chewing, the television and its noises. Loneliness a nightly death, bed a burial. All this dirt, all that wood. The sound of her voice, even that gone? Gerald’s cremated heart, Gerald’s aching burned up heart. Nothing but urn left now. Gerald meaning to say, She’s alive and she can’t breathe, thinking how most of the time he hated her, that mean mouth, he missed that hate, its absence a hacked up emptiness, Gerald meaning to say She’s alive and she can’t breathe, Gerald saying I’m alive and I can’t breathe.