I have published these two fragments together as the second would not have been possible without the first.
An embarrassment of grief
I know I am only lightly touched; no forensics could detect this. Just an absence: not much to negotiate. No cataclysm doled out here. A little static as afterfeather brushes skin. I am the same in all but everything; I kept my name.
I don’t tell anyone or try to explain; it is too small a thing. And no conversation would be long enough.
But I am not responsible for this quid pro quo, this measuring and weighing: the illogical commerce of grief. Sometimes iridium is traded for feathers. I have no say.
Grief is or is not; there are no gradations, and this is still heavier than lead-heavy. And like a broken umbrella in high wind, impossible to martial: all shreds and skeletal angles and poking elbows.
And me saturated still, even now.
I abdicated. From everything and all I had become. To relinquish power is to gain it. And sometimes to be alone.
Now I am queen of the reclamation yard. I am not sure what I will find or what I have to exchange (guilt being no currency): just small things, I expect, of little value. I potter.
I trip up and trip over. I stub my toe against the fragile realisation that I am neither too late nor too out of practice. I can uncover and reassemble and gather in. I can use spit and elbow grease and polish; I can discard, or glaze in amber, or be dazzled by something that is pristine still, even now, after all this mothballed time. I can sort over this puzzlement of long-accumulated bric-a-brac and slowly solve and salve.
I abdicated. This little achievement, this small trifle, and suddenly I am beyond the all of everything, and more joyful.