I promised to let you leave gracefully. You promised not to look back.
One of us lied.
Your footsteps kicked up dust in the yard. I followed you out, my fingers catching at your sleeve.
I will leave the door open for you. I will leave the porch light on.
I was seventeen the first time I died. It was gentle, like the dying of a star. My heart stopped, you said, for fifteen minutes.
I died a thousand times between then and now. I died again at nineteen and twenty-two and thirty-seven and a hundred and three; I died in war and in bed, with valor and in obscurity, alone and in your arms. All I remember is the dark and the shape of my name, how it fluttered against the wind: a kite tugging on a string.
Next time, I think, next time I will bring a knife.