What we mean when we talk about divorce.

I want to talk about what is lost when a marriage ends.

I want to say how hearing the first soft notes of my favorite song sends me back to before we were married, sitting on his bed listening to him sing to himself. I asked him what song - repeat those words, they are so wrapped into his fingers and his hair; they will tell me his secrets. Years later singing that same song to calm a child and losing myself in it.

I want to describe the way he walked our first child in his arms for hours the first night we were home. I want to talk about how small she looked in the crook of his elbow, how I watched a child not three days outside of my own body settle finally as if she'd always known him.

I want to talk about how my whole heart lay there with him, swaying back and forth in the darkness.

What ends the moment I realize that he will never come back? I sit in the hallway of my empty house in the silence; I want to hear the sound of my children laughing with him, or breathing deeply in sleep, but all I hear is my own heart beating and I can't escape it.

I rearrange. I paint over the colors we chose, and track earth inside the kitchen without caring. I tear down what we have built. I sit in the evening and light a candle. I let us burn down until that last light goes out.

Tomorrow I will step out of my house and it will be like the first time.