Patchwork — by Duane Simolke


Callum leans back on the recliner as he drapes the patchwork quilt over his body. His fingers trace the images, the scenes that connect him to moments of his husband’s life.

He runs his fingers over the cluster of embroidered stars. This scene is the night they met, during a party, out on a friend’s balcony. Shivering, Callum turned to go back inside. He bumped into Jerome, dark-skinned and bearded, walking out. They apologized and talked for a moment, despite the cold. The moment kept going.

This busy pattern of lines and dots is Jerome supporting him during the college years, the exams, the dissertation defense, the sleepless nights. Way too many pepperoni pizzas. Jerome wanted pineapples on his side, “If you don’t mind.” Callum never minded any of Jerome’s quirks. They were part of a package deal, and he loved the package.

The alternating black and white squares are…

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