I put you to sleep in blue ice, fragrant with vodka, an odor our daughter used to call sour grape juice.

Now you are a sober stare, a startled Barbie doll.  There are no words, no going back to beaches and midnight love-making under eucalyptus.

It has to be cold, yet you don’t shiver.  It must be something to witness what I’m doing, but remain helpless.

You do not breathe or blink or call me criminal.

You stay beautiful as that day I took this photo, when you drew back the shower curtain and I snapped you from the neck up.

Now your neck is frosted, your face too.  Fog is taking over.  It leaves a smudge of blue, smothering your face, and the memory of you, sealing both in ice, thereby pardoning me from the pain of having to provide a proper goodbye.