My Heart by Amy Cotler

I saw my Josh in the street. But — I thought he was dead. Maybe it was someone else? No, it was him, with his tiny chin, sprouting the start of a scraggly beard. Yep, it was my ex. He was carrying his guitar, the 1957 Les Paul Junior he loved, and made too much noise with, in our New York City loft, back when. That was before the end, when I threw a jade plant at him, then hoisted our giant window up, and tossed his clothes out onto the filthy sidewalk below.

He married immediately after I threw him out. Two months later, the dog was gone too, stiff at the bottom of the closet that once held Josh’s clothes.

Two years passed, and Josh died too.

Apparently, I’d lived with him longer than any woman had, including his wife, so I was asked to speak at his memorial. I didn’t tell them that he was my drug-addled, skinny dipping, woman-loving mate for seven long years, or that I spotted him in the street, right after he died, growing a beard on his ever-so-tiny chin. Or that I loved him.

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