Letter to a Dead Ex-lover

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Dear Charles,

My parents died, Victor killed himself but I never missed them as I do you. Months later my eyes can still water at the thought of Charles Alan Cagle.

I remember the first night I heard your voice, the day I saw your face, when we first kissed. And that afternoon you put your hand on my leg and said you thought you felt I might be the guy with whom you wanted to share your life.

Often I think of how perfectly my arm fit around your shoulders in the car. Often you’d sit on my knee when you wanted to apologize for your latest mad act. Maybe put on some patchouli oil or Giorgio to lower my resistance. There was that boyish blonde haircut: it always melted me so that I would forgive anything.

Probably know one who knew us could’ve ever known how much sharp unsparing honesty with which you could discuss yourself. It was your capacity for clarity that kept my hope alive for so long.

You were the only guy with whom I ever really enjoyed being on the bottom.

Your destructive greed, criminal abuses of my trust, deceptions: they aren’t forgotten. My life without distorted my own behavior into damaging my health and I’ve yet to properly restore it.

But I miss you. If you were alive and present I might be wishing you gone. And it is an ugly sentiment but you may be better off dead.

I always love the memories of those few for whom I’ve felt romantic tenderness. With some odd amalgam of paternal/maternal loss I still miss you my silly boy.

Alex will be back in a few days. I hope to look less longingly on your ghost. But I’ll always cherish the happy times.



How did Charles die, may I ask? Your letter to him was so poignant and raw. Were you together when he died? There is foregiveness in your words, and honesty.

He died of a heroin overdose in my dining room while Alex (my lover’s name) and I slept.

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