Lips of the Departed

No longer do those lips push so gently against her own. Now she stands in line with strangers, family, and friends of the one who lies there.

But he lies not with that tongue which no longer graces her cheek in times of intimacy. He lies stiff. Silent. Gone.

She manages to chuckle, thinking of how it took this long to get him in a suit, and how even in death, he appears eager to yank the tie right off his collar.

But daydreams give way to tears as the cold face is examined by the masses of those more curious than saddened. More excited to speak of the proceedings later, than to celebrate him now. She harbors no anger toward them, as it’s no secret he was not the most beloved person. But he was so intense to her. He was so brilliant, to her. To her, at least. That must matter, even now?

Her thoughts are rolling faster and faster. His hands. She winces. His chest… she longs to lay her head upon that chest. Please, just one more embrace. One more instance of an “I love you, so much…” or the shiver she would get from his fingers stroking the top of her head during a movie in bed. Or during her father’s own funeral, as he held her all through that day and into the next. Or the desperate night they learned that he was going to need chemical therapy. They just sat and thought, hard, at each other. It was a private world.

 Tears come so much easier than words when she remembers his warmth.  That chin, and the peach fuzz she once rubbed and scratched at, just to bother him enough to shave.

How could they never meet gazes again? How can that be possible? Of course they will look deep into each other’s eyes again, right? No. His gaze is now transfixed upon the inside of his frozen eyelid. His eyes, his gorgeous, profound eyes, are never to see, nor be seen again. That thought is too much. That’s the one that pushes her over.

But there is a place where agony peaks. There is a place where her own eyes will not allow her to travel. Those lips. Those lips that will never curse again in frustration or excitement. Never scream for surprise or anger again.

Those sealed lips, that will never be able to reciprocate the many nighttime pleadings of their beloved. She mourns those lips. She wants to kiss him again. She wants to feel him again. She wants those arms to hold her, those eyes to stare into hers… She leans into him, and stops, remembering the crowd of family and church members. She cannot kiss him here. She will never kiss him again. Those ears. Those ears of his, that will never hear the sound of her heart whimpering, whining, waning out at that very moment.

~ Stay close to those you love, before their eyes, arms, ears, and lips are shut

forever to the world, and even you.~

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