I remember when the headstone finally arrived. I could see it from the street as I pulled into the cemetery, a grey rectangle above a patch of red clay.
My chest tightened as I walked up to his grave, the tiny American flags I had placed around it months before waving in the wind.
I sat next to the grave and watched ants march into a hole I imagined led straight to my husband. It made me think of disappearing, of his lifeless body, of the time that had passed since I buried him, and of the effect time has on bodies. I winced.
I began reading the words etched in granite, the same ones I struggled to write on the headstone paperwork months before. His first name,