I reread the words you send me, every word, even the ones that weren’t writ for me. I want them to be rote. I want them to be seared on my brain like branded cattle. Your words carved in glorious diegesis inside of my skull so that when I am dead, choked on one more wafer thin utterance, doctors will study the remnants as though it were the very Rosetta Stone. They will call conferences and exclaim, write essays and shift blame, they will marvel, ponder, and never quite get the game, always missing one piece, your beautiful name.
I’d given her so many pet names over the years and she’d always abided. Honey lamb, sweetie, pudding-pop, baby, sugarplum, kitten. My lover, my partner, my friend, in the end they were only labels, poorly indicative descriptors for their innards, simply something to write out and slap over minor misconceptions we both agreed on. Needing to know now what we couldn’t, we spent years assigning designations and designing abstractions, showing our friends and easing our fears. Together we made a maze of nomenclature and died inside its nadir. The last name I ever gave her was her own.