The Morning after My Wedding

Sarah Stafford

I woke to find myself alone. I got out of bed and went to find my husband to ask if I could plant honeysuckle in our new backyard because of the dream I just had. Crowds of people came to pluck yellow honeysuckle flowers, but not taste them. When I couldn’t find him, I went back to the bedroom. There he was, leaning over a big black hole where our bed used to be. He kept dipping his hands into a wooden box as one would dip their palms into a river to drink, and then scattering handfuls of ashes into the pit – waving at the falling debris as one would wave goodbye to a child on their first day of kindergarten. When I touched his shoulder he stood and kissed my forehead. Then he kissed the tips of my ten fingers. He licked his lips then kissed mine. He smelled like fire but he tasted sweet, his mouth bloomed. “My darling, my beloved,” he cooed, “Will you help me scatter my ashes?” So I kissed the tips of each of his fingers and kneeled with him. I dipped my hands into the box and pulled out fistfuls of honeysuckle blossoms. I threw them into the pit – without tasting – and smiled as they vanished.