I Wish You Love


I Wish You Love


“Everyone dies,” she says, as if he’d been a bouquet of roses whose petals fell off despite trimming stems, changing water daily. Inevitable. Nature. CRAP!

            “He had a good life.”

            Qualify good, I wonder to myself. None of the burdens that wealth and privilege bring, right? And, how do you really know anything about my love and me? We’ve been neighbors for years but have we ever talked? Ever shared a cup of coffee? Did you drop by out of condolence or curiosity or to pawn off another of these damn casseroles?

            “He had you,” she continues, obnoxiously cheery as if answering the most difficult question on the class final correctly, like that ever happened.

            Yes, he had me: besotted, amused, confused, frustrated I couldn’t do more for this fractured mortal with his proverbial childhood of drunks, narcissists, poverty, neglect that even an escape to the Marines didn’t heal. He so loved the discipline, not to mention three squares a day and his very own bed. He won medals for sharp shooting just like he did hunting rabbits or blasting pop bottles as a kid, but shooting as a soldier, that’s a story he would never share although the nightmares often punctuated his sleep that no embrace could assuage.

            “Well, you’ll find someone new,” she claims, punctuating my reverie.

            Hard to fathom when we’ve just buried him, I retort in my head, wanting to toss a tuna casserole in her face or shout, Do you imagine (if you think at all) grief vanishes in a week or two, you idiot? What does she really know about my love or me? We’ve been neighbors in this damn building for years; have we ever shared a cup of coffee? A conversation longer than, ‘Good morning, how are you?’

            Forcing deep breaths to inhale/exhale/inhale again, I think of my love, what we had. He filled these rooms to the brim with his energy, ridiculous puns, his ability to fix anything (which I’d probably broken.) The apartment is already too empty, my body too heavy with this unfathomable loss, yet when hope rises, I’m surprised it yearns for a new kiss that thrills, a new embrace, another passion to warm this body. My love often told me, ‘Keep your heart ajar, ready to receive, even if you cannot yet believe. Just remember.’

            I can get through this. I can get through this day.

            “Let me know if there’s anything I can do,” the neighbor persists in her bliss.

            “Thank you,” I say aloud in a voice nearly sincere, although my mind is conjuringI wish you bluebirds of happiness, I wish you joy, I wish you a deep profound love … far far far away from me.’


Diana Rosen


DIANA ROSEN is a poet, essayist, and flash writer with poetry credits in Ariel Chart, Rattle, and Misfit Magazine, and flash credits in Mad Swirl, Potato Soup Journal, and As It Ought to be Magazine, among others. She lives and works in Los Angeles where she enjoys her 4,000+ acre "backyard"--Griffith Park, the largest urban greenery in the U.S. Her first full-length book of poetry, "High Stakes & Expectations" will arrive this spring from The Tiny Publisher. To review more of her work, please visit www.authority.com/dianarosen


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