29 Rapp

With blood-speckled lips he speaks his final words, “my sweet,” then nothing.

His soulmate drops his hand, bringing her own to the silent scream pouring from her mouth.
***

The death blow came from a gargoyle pushed from above.

She wants to shout that he’s an artist, a stone mason’s son, he only looks rich.

In her rage and torment, she’s voiceless though and instead bends to him and smooths his hair while blood fills the cracks in the sidewalk.

 

***

He died on a Sunday. They bury him on Saturday.

Eight months after his burial, his namesake is born.  

Time is marvelous for numbing pain.

Even though the city is a pit of violence, she takes the baby for little walks.

To avoid one of the many labor riots, she finds herself in front of 29 Rapp the place where her love uttered his last words.

In front of the plain door, she gasps in shock.

She had never seen anything like it before.

It almost seems as if her love’s blood has eaten away at the sidewalk and now there was a checkerboard pattern at work.

It’s more beautiful than words.

 

***

She makes it there everyday.

Everyday a new miracle marks the stone wherever the blood of her husband touched, the wall around the lintel and the door is filled with paisleys and circles and florets. They erupt everywhere.

A language left from death written in cement.

 

***

But life ends.

That’s what it does.

Chapters closing.

Books ending.

Egyptians becoming Greeks becoming Romans.

Flowers die.

Fruit rots.

Children grow old.

His soulmate soon is stooped and grey and walking with a cane leaning heavily on their grandchild.

He has become physical again. An effigy maybe, but still he smiles down on her, but now she is too old to look up.

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