For months, we shared a space; the back office; you had the window, I had the wall.
We were at right angles, conversing as we stared at our respective monitors, tapping away at our matching black keyboards.
Amid the stress, we joked: the deadlines, the bills I needed to pay, the checks you needed signed, the incompetencies of others, the anger of the DNC.
And there was stress: me cursing the voice mail, you putting in headphones to indicate it was time to work.
It seems that so much rested on your shoulders: we intuited, but never knew, or knew, but never said.
You gave, how you gave, how you never took; at most, a quick nap, snuck in at the desk or down the hall.
How we knocked at Hyam’s heavy door, oh, how we knocked, when we needed something; how we marched with a sense of purpose, documents in hand, this way, that way, to our colleagues on the fourth floor; how we were central staff; how we felt that way, too.
I was told that you were gone on the day that you were gone.
We can’t apologize now, we can’t. We cannot be there for you now, we can’t.
We cannot know if we loved you enough, if we liked you enough, if we are responsible, we can’t.
We are left here with our wonder, with our guilt, our disbelief.
With the memory of you, at a right angle to me, sixty hours a week.
My comfort in the keystrokes that told me you were there.