We were meant to go out dancing in baby blue crushed velvet suits
with ruffle-fronted shirts
in some tasteless homage to James Last and his big band orchestra
and the 70s.
You were meant to be the first person I told when I got a publishing contract,
the one who calmed me over dinner before the book launch,
the one who held my hand under the table at book awards.
We were meant to talk about every new Star Wars movie
and usually disagree, and you’d mock me for asserting
that any Star Wars movie without Jar Jar Binks
is surely already halfway towards being decent.
You were meant to keep saying “oh, I always love you in purple”
every time I wear something purple,
and I’d glow a little on the inside.
We were meant to spend a night out dancing to house music;
the next morning you wouldn’t let me sleep in
but instead tell me we couldn’t waste a beautiful day,
so we’d yawn our way through everything we did.
You were meant to meet any new guy I started dating
to check him out and see if you thought he was alright;
then wrap your arms around me while I cried
when things went wrong.
We were meant to bury the body together,
you could scrub down surfaces to remove evidence
while I burnt anything that might connect us to it
and we’d be each other’s alibis, if things got to that.
What am I meant to do
with the blood-splattered chisel?
First published in Crab Creek Review (2019)