The pie-maker likes rules. He pays attention to the syntax of things. He likes order–order reduces risk and reduced risk is always a good thing. He's a thinker, he doesn't leave anything to chance, he responds accordingly: adding layers and layers (not necessarily of clothing, my friends) until he is so wrapped that he can hurt nothing and nothing can hurt him. He is (uncomfortably) numb in a winter of his own making and he that was a-okay! The key word: was.

Spring creeps into life, planting flowers as she goes laughing and smiling amidst swarms of humming bees–he sees something new. Pies exhale, flooding the air with cloying breath, as he prepares Emerson a rhubarb pie (an' make it snappy) to-go. He slides to the worktable with patented grace, his mind and body awhirl in completely different subjects. His hands dexterously work, but his brain is chugging along like a moped engine drowning in gunk.

He always paid attention: he sees everything, but not this. He feels twisted; grappling with this foreign concept, feeling first (confused) scared. Lying there, in that coffin (work faster, pie-man), she had never been more beautiful. His hands literally freeze, inches from the pie–cold, grow hot (bam! smack'd face!) and she's scared too–he looks past the fish leveling his patented P.I. piercing stare and at her: his spring. No! Everything is screaming, but all he sees is the sun, shining and glowing with warmth and verve that not even death can stifle. She lives more than he can even imagine. She lives.

His hands fall away and seize upon a sheaf of plastic, yanking a yard loose and leaving his pies forgotten. His blood approves, but his wisdom screams. His heart hammers in his ears and his soul clenches in bowel shivering fear–tinged with hunger, fueled by snatches of old poetry (the best gesture of my brain…), self-doubt weightless–he powerfully crosses the room, forgoing Olive, Emerson, Digby. Everyone else. She blinds him as he closes and his mouth dries out as he blurts out, "Chuck!" She instantly turns, smile fading and reshaping instantly at him. Beaming.

He's tall, dark, reflecting like the moon. "What–" the plastic flies up, stifling words (words, words, words) and allowing lips. He presses and she's speechless–unprepared–her eyelids flutter which says nothing (but much), but brings back the bite of a favorite poem.

life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

And they dissolve into the better fate of a thousand flowers.