The Last Thing

by Christian Bell

The last thing I remember is popping out of the water, stumbling to the shore.  I think I heard a viola playing before I passed out.

The last thing you said to me was, let's do this more often.  Let's, I said.  Then you died.  Now I'm alone, the big liar.

The last thing you wanted was for me to grow wings, fly away from your trap.  I told you, you can build more walls and maze me in, but I'll win.  Then I did.

The last thing.  No—instead, you grabbed my wrists, said, no last of anything.  The wind that night was Antarctica.  Your hair black silk, comfort under my chin.

The last thing I feel like doing is listening to this lecture.  Secular recovery, price realization, decelerating revenue trends.  Why me, why now.  Wake me when I'm prosperous.

The last thing I wanted was to be caught in the middle.  You're danger but also sweet music, harp-like hair, oboe voice.  Someday, let's not allegro but instead adagio.

The last thing I said was, let's go outside.  Into the dark evening, flesh humid, air like thick carpet.  For a few seconds, before sirens and drunks fractured the calm, the world was dead, ours.

The last thing I remember is falling below the water, lungs filling with liquid.  Yes, there's a bright light.  Yes, then you see people long since gone.  Yes, it's beyond what you can imagine.