Before Summer kicked the bucket, Shepherd had intended to leave an absent goodbye hanging on the dotted clothesline to signify his momentary departure, and adopt the moldering stench of damp-dryer abandonment to disguise his scent…but he misplaced the carrion-pelt of buzzwords meant to appease the vultures who guarded their master’s modus operandi; and wound up crying wolf before the flock arrived. The magic words of reunion: irretrievable, even to a human punching bag who could backhand back without flinching, while awaiting glass-blown punishment with the ease of bedtime-prayer recitation.
Obsessive repetitions bore no Rubix Cube solutions, though Shepherd replenished the rufescent refreshments that collected postmortem gawkers to the disco ball autopsies he performed behind viridescent lawn-curtains (ruddy-cheeked wink of tawny dawn in folded hand). Skating off windowpaned ice rinks and compact mirrors of triple axel camera stunts, he ached for discovery through subversive social media, and sucked the cordless hairs that tied his tongue to the roof of his mouth, stuffed with her name soaked through cotton pads.
It wasn’t enough to grieve. He wished Summer knew how he abhorred coarse engorgement, unfinished romantic business, and expulsion of personal connection. Tendered affection tampered with tempered denial of missing an ache that never left.
Shepherd had to tell her corpse again: “You’re the reason why I linger.”