There is a quiet associated with the early morning in the desert that Is not quite like the quiet anywhere else. It’s anticipatory in nature. There is a smell if dew on dry earth that reminds me of a lover. How quietly he breaks into my thoughts these days. A whisper, just barely there. It has been nearly 40 years since I have seen his face, near mine, breath entangled with my own. And though in the beginning I thought of him often, as the years passed it became the infrequent thing that would bring him to mind. A passing stranger would smell of him. Or softly falling snow on a winter morning would remind me of the times we stole that winter. 

In the desert now, far from where I loved him, it is this sunrise. The smell that night has left behind on the Sand. If desperate longing had a scent, this would be it. I can hear the first bird whistle in a nearby sage as I stretch my tired hand towards the cooling mug of coffee. Alone. Like I always wanted. It’s painful to think about the cost I’ve paid for this isolation. A non-refundable purchase of loneliness. I embrace it as the sun creeps higher and the life i once had fades into the recesses of a tired brain, the image of his face the last thing I see as I shut my eyes to its bright hello.

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