Only I, I realized tonight, have to do the exact things that you did- moving in your earthly footsteps throughout each day. Many mourn you, but no one but me must do these things here in your home.
Only I bang the sink strainer on the trash can to get out the food exactly the way I heard you do it almost every night. “Bang, bang, bang,” and toss it back in the sink. Only I punch in the password to your phone (which was easy for me to guess when I received it from Switzerland) and hold your phone to my ear and say hello just as you once did. “Hello?” Only I lock our apartment door with the key I grab from a small dish in the entryway table- I see your keys lying there every time- the ones you came back and dropped off after you’d left that last day saying, “I might as well leave these here- I won’t need them.” Only I pick up our daughter out of her crib in the morning the way you used to while you let me sleep in or brought her to me to nurse. Only I bring her her oo yoo the way you used to, singing the same little tune that you made up for the occasion, “Oo yoo, yeah…oo yoo yeah, oo yoo, yeah oo yoo.” Only I sit in the car and turn on the radio station you programmed in. Only I take out the garbage and recycling like you did. Take a new plastic bag from under the sink and shake it out and put it in, fold the flaps over the corners just the way you did- when you were here. Only I stand and floss my teeth where you did- next to me- each night- staring at each other in the mirror. Only I water your cello and fill the tea kettle and pull up the comforter and push in the chair and hang up the wet towel – the super fluffy ones we registered for- and fill the dishwasher and empty the dishwasher and open the curtains and close the curtains and marvel at the new things that our daughter does each day the way