[After my husband died, I did not] by Tim Neil

After my husband died, I did not
eat anything for two days.

Hunger felt familiar after years
of marriage to an echo.

On the third day, I just wanted
to make a simple meal.

I had no pasta, no fine bread,
just American cheese, a garlic clove,

and one fucking egg. He had left it
for me, along with his yolk-crusted

pan soaking in the sink. The last argument.
In his dictionary, underneath the word

“consideration,” he saw one pale egg
nestled neatly in the cardboard carton,

like a piece of fallen moon in a desert crater.
I pocketed the egg with care, and left

our cramped cottage.
I drove past the grocery store and football fields,

until I reached his new bed of silence.
If he were alive under the dirt,

his snores would wake the neighbors.
The crows in the distance made jokes

about me. They thought I was another clinging
widow. I cracked the shell on his tombstone,

watched the yellow dot the sod.

Tim Neil is a recent graduate of Towson University, where he received a BFA in Acting. He lives in Baltimore, MD.

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