I'm imagining your laugh again
the one you save for your family
and your very

I'm imagining the way you say my name
I don't know when
I'm going to hear it again.

My friends can't tell
my laughter from my cries
someone tell this photograph of you
to let go of my eyes.

I'm imagining your frame
I'm imagining your smell
I'm imagining your laugh again
and the way you say my name...

-Every Angle, Ani DiFranco

After you died, everyone kept telling me I needed to move on. They said sure, she was pretty, but there are other pretty girls. There are sweet and kind and great girls who can teach you to laugh again.

I guess they were right, but they left me one by one because they didn't understand that I couldn't just move on. I'm not alive now. My soul was tied to yours; it was buried with you and it suffocated in the silk white insides of the coffin. I'm only living through my memories, and Birdy, there are so many memories.

Like our first kiss. It was summer. The tip of your nose and your cheeks were pink, but you leaned closer until I could only see your eyes. Electric silvery blue-green, a whole other world. I wanted to be there. I wanted to be inside you, running through your veins and beating in your heart. I wanted to wander the labyrinth of your mind for days and see your thoughts like an art display. Closer. I tasted the salt on your lips, and for one second in time I was there. You and I became an us.

There were other kisses after that, and then the things after kissing. Bruise-colored sky and your hair all silver in the moonlight, slow as honey shifts. Your name in my head, echoing over and over, chanted like a prayer. You cried afterwards--held to my shoulders and sobbed, fragile butterflies that flew up and out of the room--and you told me you loved me more than anyone. I'm so scared to lose you.

I was scared, too. You were so beautiful. Waterfall hair, and you always smelled like berries or flowers. What if someone else came and you loved them more than anyone? There wasn't a hand that fit mine the way yours did.

At the funeral, I asked for the casket to be closed. I didn't want to see a wax replica of someone who was so full of life. I didn't want to see a marble statue with your name.

Lane showed up for the service. I hadn't talked to her much since highschool. She has red crinkly-curly hair and wears bright lipstick, but that day there was mascara trailing down her cheeks. We've known each other forever. Maybe I would have even married her if it hadn't been for you, but it doesn't matter. That's not the way things worked out.

Lane came to me with her mascara tears, and she said Birdy was beautiful, honey, so you'd better not let her down now that she can't stop you. I told her I wouldn't. I lied.

I've lied a lot lately. Things like "of course I've been eating well" and "yes, I'm fine". I probably did let you down. I'm sorry.

I remember that you used to read poems to me. You kept them in books with red covers, pages and pages of flowery writing that I never paid attention to. Don't you think that's beautiful? Yes, darling, you're beautiful. Churchbell laughter and strawberry cheeks. That's not what I asked. So what, it's true.

I read your poems now. I still can't understand them, but they remind me of you before your eyes turned cold. Before you put the pens away and buried yourself in winter.

You wanted kids, and that was alright with me. You'd make a wonderful mother. Besides, I loved the way you looked when you told me you were pregnant. Hugged me and said, you'll be a daddy soon. Fireflies glowing beneath your skin.

The doctors told us it was a little girl. I could imagine her; short tufts of sunshine hair and those blue eyes. Hey, you'd say, and touch my hand to your stomach. Can you feel her? A tiny movement under my palm could make my throat swell shut. Right there. That's our daughter.

But I never found out if she would have your eyes. Stillborn. You cried for weeks, and then you stopped. Just like that, stopped, and we never talked about it again. You made pancakes and smiled, but it wasn't the smile I remembered. Distant. I wondered if you were smiling at me or something I couldn't see. Eventually, I knew the answer.

You'd pulled out one of your poetry notebooks that morning. It was the first time you'd touched them since you went to the hospital, and I thought that maybe things were getting better. You kissed me before I left for work. I love you, Logan. I love you too, Birdy. So much so much.

The whole house smelled like flowers when I found you. You'd used a lot more bath fragrances than usual, a room full of psuedo lilies and a pink tinted tub. Your wrists had two perfect lines; you'd never faltered once.

The book I'd seen that morning was on the kitchen table, open to the page you'd been writing on. It said:

I still love you more than anyone, but she's only a baby. She needs me. Please don't ever forget us.

That was a long time ago, but I never have. I never will.

They think I'm waiting to die, Birdy, but I'm sure you know the truth. I'm only waiting to see the color of my daughter's eyes.