Margaret Atwood
[Writer, b. 1939, Ottawa, Canada, lives in Toronto.]

 Old lovers go the way of old photographs, bleaching out gradually as in a slow bath of acid: first the moles and pimples, then the shadings. Then the faces themselves, until nothing remains but the general outlines. 
 (The photograph was taken the day after I drowned. I am in the lake, in the center of the picture, just under the surface. It is difficult to say where precisely, or to say how large or how small I am: the effect of water on light is a distortion. but if you look long enough eventually you will see me.) 
 We wish to assert our existence, like dogs peeing on fire hydrants. We put on display our framed photographs, our parchment diplomas, our silver-plated cups; we monogram our linen, we carve our names on trees, we scrawl them on washroom walls.