The part that no one sees. Finally, without you to claim it, was mine.
When you were dead I found a way to keep it. The essence of you. Plucking your brain from your skull like extracting a cracked walnut, washing it down with chemicals, placing it in the formaldehyde with the love and care of a diamond merchant. I would own this jewel forever, while the rest was condemned to ash.
Still vivid with secrets, still poised with promise, still loaded with every signal, every nervous memory you’d ever deemed important. You were a perfect specimen. I placed you in the jar in the fridge, removing you sometimes to hold you up to the window on days when rain and sunshine arrived together, with the possibility of rainbows. You always liked days like those.
Your body let me down. It changed. Skin ripening and falling from the bone in papery sheets, speckled with age spots. Hair fading until colourless and pale, your breasts diminished into leathery sacks, teeth ever longer as your gums withdrew, fine muscular legs transformed to bone, immobile on the chair. But your mind, your beautiful misunderstood mind, was always loyal to me. Wasn’t it?
I always wanted to see inside you. Discover what lay beyond the pretty dark curls that covered your head. Find out where you went when I was cruel. When I made you feel uncomfortable. Find out the real feelings you had about our neighbours, your ex husband, our son, what you really thought about me. Whether you really loved me? Find out how you really felt, about what happened on that winter’s day, when you saw me kissing that young girl in the woods. Or the time I set fire to your books. Or the nights I threatened to kill you.
And yet you’re still a mystery. A good girl. Self contained as ever.
Your secrets trapped.
Quiet in the jar.
Another submission to Visual Verse.