Each of us was only a roll of the dice by the time we met, but no-one else would give us any odds by then. We played out the Terminal’s trauma, but yours was so self-contained it gradually calmed my ugly effusions. You never meant for me to regret, but I still suspect the only comfort I gave you back was twirling you to silent music in the hospital carpark one night, after you were the one to remind me that such things could be. We waited for dawn, for the riveting rays we thought might vaporise us with their caress. Later that month I was told you’d been readmitted—they showed me your gentleness not in your smile or touch, but entombed in your flesh. We might have made a suicide pact if our shared precarity hadn’t made us forget that only one of us might survive, though suffering often engenders a bond that later relief can wither away. But I may still never live to deny my idea that your grace should be walking amongst us, bathed in any sunset you chose, even as lifelong embraces are broken apart each day, and I hardly knew you.
Glen Hunting is a poet, dramatist, and short story writer from Perth, Western Australia (Whadjuk Noongar boodjar), now living in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), on Arrernte country. His writings have appeared in Portside Review, Recoil Twelve, Creatrix, Burrow, Dotdotdash, and elsewhere. When not writing, he works for a service provider on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.