Standing in his dark room again after these months apart, I feel as though I’ve come home to find all of my furniture rearranged. The street lamps beyond the window leak an accordion of light through the slits in the blinds, and as my eyes adjust I find his vague outline, one knee bent as he sits propped up against a large pillow on the bed, his bare chest, the disembodied ember of the cigarette he holds between two fingers. I stand back by the wall, hiding in shadows that might conceal this crescendo. His room is an escape from the harsh light of the empty hallway, from the bright awareness of my own quiet apartment, from what each day feels like now that he is gone.
Kirsten Clodfelter, “There Was a Moment to Turn Back”
Kirsten Clodfelter’s essay about a one-last-time encounter reads like a whisper between lovers. It’s painful, hollow and all too human – and a testament to her ability to examine the ambiguity of love and lies.