I can’t pinpoint the moment you stopped eating and began to exist on breath alone, but I envied you that abstinence. After you’d gone the silence grew like a living thing to fill the rooms, its body vast and billowing strong. I have to keep close to the walls now; it won’t let me cross a room out in the open. Sometimes if I sit too long in that old chair in the living room, the weight of the silence presses me back like the force of travelling too fast, my arms locked at my sides, head back, eyes open to the ceiling where the cracks grow and multiply (do you remember their pattern? It’s spreading wider lately).

Most days I don’t make it to the front door, let alone escape this house, but from time to time I do have fight enough in me to open a window, and then I breathe more deeply. Such gasping-clear, crystalline air blossoming up off the bay. I remember how you loved to walk right by the waves, your body empty and light, half disappearing in the slanting sun. Inside you must have glittered like clean frosty mornings. Walking next to you I felt obscenely solid, but now that you’re gone only the silence is tangible. I am fading slowly, and it’s such a relief to find that I can.