Llu created my second life. It started when I met her in a chain deli near a mall not far from Chicago. It ended two and a half years later when she was killed by a tumor. Her cremains rest beneath the sod above her father’s coffin in the stone-walled graveyard that beaches against the ancient walls of St. Peter’s Church in Maesllan near Lampeter, Wales. It’s where she wanted them. That was my best life. Including the long year it took for the thing to end it. So brave.

She took me to Wales to meet her mother, brother, nephews, aunts, her Uncle Divvy, her resting father, John Henry. It’s a beautiful place. The best part of my best life was that week. We strolled on perfect, narrow roads and visited castles that sat amid rolling hills of green grass dotted with sheep, cloven by clear streams and laced with white fences that surround placid cattle under the Simsonian sky. It was like a dream. She never saw the photos.

During our first spring together, Llu planted beautiful, bright yellow daffodils in my back yard–our garden. They bloom every year in early April near the anniversary of when we met. The flowers endure frost, snow and freezing rain, the death rattles of winter. Her daffodils are tenacious, indestructible for two and a half weeks after they yellow. As the sun breathes life into the rest of the world, the blooms wither and fall to the ground.

An act of joyous love. A time of beauty. A short sentence. Fuck me. Gone.

for Lluella Stephanie Davies

Kayen Rice



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