In our garage, your hockey skates still dangle. Green and yellow parakeets still call from your painting on my office wall, bright birds slowly dimming on a tangle of brown, twigless branches. A singing bowl, a book of Dylan’s lyrics, a leather journal whose stiffening leaves I turn to read the kernels of tunes (the jigsaw pieces of your soul), the Warwick bass you paid for by yourself, three joints you rolled that I will never smoke, a New Year’s gift you gave me as a joke, and you—now dust and ash—rest on my shelf. Watercolors fade. Ashes scatter, but love remains—firm, unchanging matter. Originally published in Modern Age. Susan Delaney Spear is an associate professor of English at Colorado Christian University. She is the author of On Earth... (Resource, 2022), Beyond All Bearing (Resource, 2018) and the co-author of Learning the Secrets of English Verse (2022). You can find her at susandelaneyspear.com.