It’s like this. The morning they tell me you died I buy myself frozen yogurt from the truck on 34th street. Remember the one we used to walk by high after leaving the park? With the pink and blue pastel flag raised from the exhaust pipe? We were always high those days so I forgive you forgetting or I would have forgiven you. The sky is the color of that flag when I get off the phone and start walking uptown. There was no reason for my walking exactly except that you always liked the buildings on 34th street. I wasn’t thinking about frozen yogurt at all until I looked up at the sky and saw it was that same color blue as the flag in the exhaust pipe. I thought there was something poetic about that. I buy myself a small vanilla with strawberry chunks and rainbow sprinkles. I eat it all the way up 34th street trying to figure out whether what they say is true about all sprinkles being the same flavor. It happens that a couple of advertisements stop me from thinking about you. Like one for a vacuum cleaner with three detachable heads and a vitamin for better sleep. Then a couple do make me think of you like one for a new cookbook of vegetarian recipes. When we were high out walking and you let me come home for dinner but all you had was lettuce and cold tofu I wanted to kill you for your moderation. But that was always the case when it came to us wasn’t it? That’s what I think about when I finally make it above 34th street, how I knew you were finally dying when you let me feed you ice cream from the hospital cafeteria. We were on those cobalt blue couches in the pulmonology waiting room looking through the window at the cherry blossoms. How is it they bloomed so pink this year? There was nothing pastel about that day. I went home and slept for fifteen hours. Now you are dead and I am eating frozen yogurt. That’s what it’ll be like. You were on the side of rainbow sprinkles all being the same flavor and I realize a few blocks north of 34th street that I can’t disagree with you.
Olive Amdur lives in Western Massachusetts. Her work has been published in The Foundationalist, The Common, and online at Amherst College Press.
image: MM Kaufman