Pictures of You

 

Every time I tried to take your picture you always moved, so that I wound up capturing only a piece of you: an ear, your left eye, the smooth plane of your cheek, your upper lip.

“Maybe I’m like those superstitious people in India and worry that you’re trying to take my soul,” you said with a triumphant laugh as you screwed up yet another picture.

And so it was.

Years passed and we went our separate ways. Once inseparable, we drifted easily into calling every week, then writing an occasional e-mail, until finally the phone stopped ringing and we got used to opening our e-mail without that breathless anticipation of I wonder if she’s replied to my message yet?

Today your brother called to inform me of your passing: cancer, sudden and swift as lightning in July. Nobody knew, everyone shocked, shocked.

So now I sit here with this puzzle of pictures trying to put them into some semblance of order. As if by piecing together the map of your face I can somehow summon your spirit, your eager laugh. Your life.

The End

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