He says I speak poetry. I read his body like words on a page—text coiled around the sinew of muscle quotations nestled in the space between his eyelashes. I found solace in the grammar of his collarbone.
His was the book I needed after the thickly bound bible I’d written with you had begun to unravel. His enthusiastic smile greeted my tired heart and the hardness surrounding it began to unfurl when he wrapped his sweatshirt around my cold shoulders.
I tell him ours was a story of moments. I saw your face on an empty stage from a crowded audience and steeled myself for the conversation I knew would come after. We unfolded. Between sips of icy wine and your cautious strokes of my hair I had already begun to build the pillar from which you would fall. You said you could not be a leader—did not want the throne—but in the glare of celebrity I denied you the opportunity of mediocrity. A cold drink in my hand, the sad shape of your eyes and the suddenness of your body pressed against mine was the film we would play three times over. Every time we failed to resurrect your thin fingers on my spine, your stomach against the small of my back and that undeniable magic only possible when you both know it’s already over.
Miles and time made me a stranger. Our conversation dried up with the silence we let grow between us and age like a wall thick with ivy. Your eyes greeted me with failed recognition—my skin felt only callouses on your hands. Your warmth abandoned me to wonder when exactly you had left that sunny snow-bank we walked months ago. I allowed the tears you cried and the eggs I made you afterward to become an irretrievable memory. And perhaps because I come from water I never thought I could drown in the sea of your damage. Too late I realized the only way to meet a man on the ground is to be on your knees.
You and I gave birth to an edifying incompatibility. But. He and I talk of houses in the country. He and I talk of land for miles and the folly of youth. In the long nights I spend with him, I find that while falling in and out of love is hard on the heart it is easy for the pen. Now I write you into infamy because words on a page are nails in the coffin of infatuation. They signal the end of lust and the betrayal of an ill-kept secret: that I ache for more than cigarettes and the bitter disappointment of your distance.