Weeks after you were buried, I came alone and played Pavarotti for you. "The fat guy with the great set of pipes," you used to call him. I brought the Walkman I had given you one Father's Day, and those tinny little speakers. If anyone had been watching, they'd have seen a woman kneeling on new grass, looking furtively about, embarrassed. There was a jogger on the path. I waited. I fussed with the flowers.
When I knew we were alone, I set the speakers on your headstone and played Nessun Dorma. Softly at first, a tentative offering; then a second time, louder. A third time, and the world went soft focus: a salt-stung blur of sky and blossoms, the hum of summer insects; more than one beloved voice. The fat guy with the pipes.
I spoke to you in whispers, as I had on the night you lay dying. "Are you here?" You must be, there is so much to tell you. While Pavarotti sang for us, I told you my secret and asked your forgiveness.
I ask again now. I ask as often as I remember. When I play Pavarotti, I sometimes find your answer in my heart. We smile.
Then we sleep.