I wrote a line in my journal on May 22, 2014, not yet a month after Pam had been re-diagnosed, followed by a question mark, because I am uncomfortable with answers: “Life is the further abbreviation of abbreviations.”

“act of shortening; a shortened thing,”
from Middle French

But if life extends beyond living, perhaps this further abbreviation has a semblance of form, as well, a word that can define it, make sense, for I’m only uncomfortable with answers because I need them.

A contraction is made by elision
of certain letters or syllables
from the body of a word
but still indicates its full form
(as fwd. for forward; rec’d. for received).

What hides in contraction is the body, the full life lived, what follows is the stuff this lexicon is made of: memory, grief, desire.