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A Boy Looks at a Girl
He looked at her; looked at her tiny, ski-jump nose; her thin, flushed lips; her ocean eyes.
Eyes that could eat you up and spit you out.
He could see her veins, blue ice just under the surface of her papery, alabaster skin, clinging tight to her brittle bones. He wanted to tangle himself in them.
He wanted to curl up inside of her, grasp at whatever was holding her together, and never let go. He wanted to clutch at the satin ribbons and velvet bows that made up her insides, hold her high up above the water, and keep her from drowning.
He worried that if he didn’t keep an eye on her, she would disappear; vanish into the night air, flit away with those rose-petal wings, and head towards the stars.
It scared him to know that one day he might lose her. He could see it in those eyes, those glassy ocean eyes, that she was light years away.
She was always looking back, while he struggled to look forward, into the future, into what he hoped would be their future. A future that they could share together over cups of coffee in the downtown Starbucks.
Coffee made him think of her. It was the aroma in her hair and the taste on her tongue.
Sometimes he wondered if she ever truly saw him, or perhaps she was looking straight through him. He sometimes felt like a ghost in her world, a shapeless entity who had wandered in and invaded. Her thoughts flew past him in the sky, dancing across clouds. His thoughts stayed weighted down, anchored to the floor.
Her favorite word was freedom and he could see it laced through her features. Freedom knotted in her hair, seeping through her bones, and painted on her lips.
She flicked dust and memory out from under her fingernails and let it settle in the cracks of the hardwood floor. The mice came out to nibble on the leftovers.
He could never stop worrying and she could never stop living. He worried that she lived so exuberantly that she would realize that she and he did not match. They were pieces from the same puzzle, but no matter how hard he tried, he could not make them fit together perfectly.
He worried that perhaps perfection was not a concept she understood. She wore mismatching socks and forgot to brush her hair and didn’t care who saw when she tripped on the frost heaves in the road.
She only ever flushed pink when she tasted the bitter tang of loneliness.
She sewed her name into his life, careful stitching and embroidery on a white throw pillow. Her name grew flowers and illuminated stars.
She plucked the moon out of the sky and carried it around in her pocket. Her hair shimmered with dust from galaxies and rubble from supernovas.
When they walked down the street, he kept his eyes cast down, walking in a straight line, headed on a clear and determined path. She skipped across the sidewalks, kicking at pebbles and making them tap dance. She ran her fingers along the walls of buildings and declared that she could feel history seeping into her bloodstream.
He kept his heart securely in his chest, under the left side of his ribcage. She fell in love with three strangers every day.
He loved this girl, the girl who loved everything.