Held breath

He prays for me.

And I dream of resting my head on his chest.. trembling fingers burried in my hair, growing still.

Of silencing fearful words with a kiss, softly; a held breath, the shadow of a smile touching his lips.

He prays for me..

And I wonder how the skin smells on the back of his neck. And would a shiver travel down his spine if my lips touched it. Would his eyes close? A held breath..

He prays for me..

To a God that denies us this embrace; that makes him estinguish this blazing fire and leaves the taste of hot ash on my tongue. My nails dig into my palms, my teeth bite hard into my lips and I let go.. a held breath.

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I don’t know if I chose you, or I was destined yours;

I do know I wasn’t made out of your rib like Eve of Adam’s; I couldn’t build myself in you as sin in a temptation. I wasn’t light within your temple, I had no altar in your flesh.

Perhaps you pulled me from a dream that wept unnoticed on your pillow, and I slipped gently to your lips so you could build me from a whisper; or carve me out of darkness as an eternal faith.

Your love, I don’t know what it was. But mine – a flood of flowers; which crowded in my flesh to bloom my bones into a spring. And from the wounds of my ripped wings flew insects, discarding my body like a sinful angel.

In my mortal eyes you were god’s offspring. But in your scornful love was raging fire, born from the candles of a self, which took us both to hell… and heaven.

And everytime you held me I felt the wings between us, the rib I wasn’t made of piercing through my skin. My eyelids draped over my bare flesh, when we made love like beasts to hide our strangeness.

And silent like two stones, one burried in the other, we drank eternity with hollow mouths; but failed to find each other in the secrets of stolen moments of the past.

But now I know, though it’s too late, that the eternity you gave me was damnation. I ripped my angel wings each time your love dressed me in dreams of insects and bloomed me into spring.

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At the end

He was writing for me, not for him. Dead cold, a shield of lead behind the bow.

I had been walking through the sky for a while, the coast ended a while back but as long as I didn’t look… God, I didn’t think the land was so far down, I didn’t think it was concrete.

And I don’t remember how to move now that he’s gone. My limbs twitch, my head falls to the side. The endless waiting I could deal with, but the end?

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Set

I sit, staring at the horizon, counting the waves and the flickers of light from another sunset. I gather my limbs and wrap them around me to embrace the approaching night. They walk past; children, couples and dogs, dare not look at the body turning to beach, but stare out to the same sea. Their eyes are not searching; they see the sun and the coast; they don’t count the waves.

A few nights ago, when my lips crumbled, I had resolved to leave. But I saw a hand out there by the ships; or was it a bird.. then I noticed the seagulls flying off with my feet and I resolved to stay.

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There’s a beach near St Ives where we sat one clear night in September. You won’t remember it, but you were there, leaning on a rock too close to the waves and the water filled your trainers and I laughed, alone..

There’s a bar in Naples near the gulf, where we sat drinking Merlot one rainy afternoon. You won’t remember it, but you were there, the wine left crimson marks on the corners of your lips and I laughed, alone..

There’s a lake in Annecy where we hired a boat and wandered. You won’t remember it, but you were there, it started to rain and the water dripped from your curls and I laughed, alone..

I’m still chosing the place to let go of your ghost..

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Heartbeat

And there, on the edge of the high hotel bed – holding your head against my chest, curling your hair around my fingers – my heart learned a new rhythm. It’s a strange beat, uneven and convulsive. It shoves the blood to my head and halts the air in my lungs, numbs my fingers.

When I remember the look in your eyes or the reflections, the damned thing beats as if it wants to come out. It rings in my ears and shakes in my limbs, turns me stupid. I stand and I stare; I wait for the madness to ease, but lately it seems to grow longer.

I wish I could restore the old rhythm, but it’s lost. I left it at the door when I couldn’t knock. I left it on the bathroom sink when I sprayed your perfume on my arm and it burned; it still burns…

That night – our last – I cried in the shower, watching you wash off my burning skin, not knowing that you had crawled under it. I can still smell the perfume in the same place, where the skin is now peeling.

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