room between us

January 18, 2011

Flavia was wed at twenty to a volatile life. One to leave a widow in its wake. Millions of Years before the End, rough tides cut deep into the cliffs. Flavia’s heart rocked soundlessly above, caught in an eternal drift-wind. Her body forever poised. A fatal swan-dive everlasting. Never again was the cliff to hold her small feet to its stony skin. Nor would the ocean catch her final breath in its wet palms.

“time is moving you away from me. by inches. every night you sleep curled closer to the edge of the bed. i’m shying ever closer to the wall. my would-be lovers on either side of me. you, and cold white coats of latex.

we are making room between us in this bed. a space for the never-to-be children to shelter from their nightmares. a space for them to wet in their scary sleep. we wouldn’t mind. the sheets would welcome the fluids. ours haven’t soaked through here in years.

your face at breakfast is a window. no more than a view. still quite beautiful, but now merely the thing i see everyday. everyday for years staring at the ocean, and one day the roar becomes white noise. your face used to terrify me. i thought i might drown in it. a thing so formidably gorgeous. now that i know your tides by heart, they no longer stir me. and i no longer care for the delusion that i am the moon pulling you in and out. you crawl over the sand and smash the cliffs by some other power. these days i’m not really interested in those mysteries.

every inch of you is sickeningly familiar. and my own nakedness in your eyes seems redundant. these days i try not to be seen.

at night my throat is tight. it’s working itself raw to hold back the tears. hold down the vomit. i press my forehead to the cold wall. and then my palm. my forearm. each night i bring up a little more courage. i roll my head and drag the bridge of my nose up and back and forth. feeling the cold, the tiny imperfections, dust trapped in the paint. in the morning i blush to see my greasy fingerprints in smears across the whiteness. i wipe them off. tenderly. when you aren’t in the room,” Flavia said to herself. Perhaps. In His Lifetime.


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