OK, I lied. He left more than an empty circle. In the cabin he’d borrowed to look for the wilderness lost in his head, he left his diaries, his letters. And this is not important, it’s just why I lied: None of them mentioned me.
Vegan me, allergic to his outdoors and afraid of his heights. He left me.
Half of Alaska set out to find him.
Me, I chewed bear fat to taste his hunger for this godforsaken place. I flew over the Brooks Range looking for my initials in his smoke.
When the ice on Shungnak River began to crack, I walked out on it, praying not to see him in the water underneath.
No, that’s a lie.
Praying he’d swallow me into him again.