If you must remember me, remember me at my worst. Somehow it gained the virtue of certitude, when so much failing came as lack of faith. Somehow it collaborated with your kindness, this weight of wreck and ruin. The wasted days, the broken trust, the long palaver down the road to hell. I would hope that these would mingle with the flavor of my name. I would hope at least some lesson would remain.
The day grinds down to dirt and feathers. The cat on the rooftop, the dogs at my feet. The sky slows, and the warm breath of the distant Pacific lingers on the street and in my beard. Questions burn away, casting out silty ghosts of smoke that Coriolis away to heaven. Questions burn, and all the asking ends up prayer.
It isn't that my sins are greater. It isn't that I long for the lash. The days dissolve, all tooth and shadow. Good things are destroyed for the sake of lies and foolishness. Lives are sacrificed to line greedy purses, and the words are bent until all meaning breaks. The memory of love with eyes wide open. Amid so much crawling darkness, choosing that final light.