The beads of sweat from my left leg trickled down, making their way through a maze of fine hairs, and soaked into the pollen tinged canvas of the outdoor cushions.
My shirt bunched in knotty rolls along my back as I leaned into a stack of pillows.
I could feel the ridges of pink welts forming from heat and fabric, and shifted, without conviction, against the colors of faux silk stripes, too exhausted to really care.
It was three days since I’d lost her.
My right leg simply dangled, toes brushing against the retired gray rug, framed dully by the warped mahogany of the deck, unable to bear the possibility of skin against skin.
A melancholy daydream was interrupted, my head lolling to the side, as I looked toward the tickle then angry burn from a lucky mosquito or two on my rogue ankle and sulked, childish annoyance irrationally juxtaposed with the raw ache that I now embodied.
The speckles of tiny dark guano from the bats roosting in the crevice between weathered wood panels and stucco caught my eye.
“Maybe if I look away, they’ll come out and devour the bloodsuckers.”
I think the words escaped as a mutter as I slapped and scratched irritably, but it could have been in my head.
I silently wished, on a foolish whim, for the tiny predators to come and take me, instead.
It was a low rumble of thunder over the itch that was motivation enough to curl up into the fetal position I had been staunchly resisting, lest I never uncurl.
My shins pressed into the gentle firmness of pillows against wicker, thighs dutifully attempting to coax my shattered chest back into place. I let my arm fall, a sticky drape from hip to knee, while my head rested at a twinge inviting angle.
I knew the poorly stitched patches of my composure were failing, the state of my physical body breaching the walls around my heart, and closed my eyes as I breathed in the dense scent of lush growth and damp infused cabin.
Something about the familiarity of earth and the musty sorrow of age in that moment cracked me enough to weep until I was empty. I collapsed inward, spent, without a single witness.
As if that solitary purge held some powerful magic, the breeze whipped up as I finally drifted, grief transmuted, stirring the world together, droning insects silenced by forced flight, with waves of Gregorian harmonies ringing from nearby wind chimes and a peppering of newly freed leaves and petals marking the way.
At last, cradled in that divine energy, I slept.