Life Itself This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

July 10, 2017

She felt the teeth and tongue and screeching halt of desire snarling in the core of her heart. Limbless and visceral, it crawled inside her lungs and bit with the ferocity of gods. Want like a growl, climbing the white dunes and the crest of the relentless, crashing waves. Hello, she breathes into the seashell of your ear. Fingers scouting the spine like wet marbles, stacked and glistening. Mouth to mouth, you need her like a lifeline. To be alone means to die. Lay in wait, craving the touch of another, the shuddering laugh of her. Bones glistening in the desert, bones and heat and heart tied down to the lie of hunger for something not vital to your existence. What are you but a shadow? This is she, and that is you, and the medium between some othering of love and pure, straight ache.  She thought about you the other night, as she crawled into bed. She dreamt of you, wished to hold your hand. You know she loves you by the way she looks at you when you awake. Or the way she glances at you across the table, holding you with her eyes.  It’s a touch of adoration. It’s nothing like you’ve ever felt.  It’s God bleeding in your veins.
She’ll paint the ridges of your shoulder blades, the corners of your eyes, the laugh lines that drift like unfettered liaisons from years past. She’ll corner your demons and lead you past them, holding you every step, and you her when you come to hers, in the forest of denial. She knows how you feel when you place the gaping wound of a façade across your nose and on the planes of your face. She’ll let her fingers roam, carefully, like she’s witnessing the topography of a brave new world. But then, gently, she’ll remove it, tenderly ghosting across the explosion of freckles on your cheeks, the bridge of your nose, and then finally, a finger to your lips and –
You are hers.
She is tomorrow, the night before, and the space in the hours spent dawdling in the crutch of early September and late fall. Leaves have fallen from the trees, a farrago of brilliant color, of oranges and browns, the soft yellows of a sunrise, and angry red before a storm. Nobody is watching anymore. She tells you that, before you ever spoke, she wanted you. Not even in the way you both are now, but in the way that she wanted your presence alone and without the heaviness of anything brash.  Pull me closer, she whispers in the cavern of your heart. Pull her any closer and she will be your heart, beating and pulsing to its own drummer. 
There isn’t a god in your world, but you wish there was. Something to provide the impetus for creation of life itself, for the tender hearted being you let your eyes graze, never holding a gaze too long, never inhaling the scent of her for a moment too dark. It’s as if there would be and could be an end to all things you held dear if you just let yourself cradle the instant in your gloved hand, careful to prevent the pollution of living. You love her, and there is safety in that. You tell yourself that is all that matters, that stringing it together, night by night, will prevent the tide from sweeping you in. It. Yearning. Devotion. Endearment. Love.
It’s heartache, it’s the summer heat, and sometimes it’s the sensation of a blood-curdling scream curling up your backside. It touches your hair, your hands, and your toes when it’s looking for a space to be. The quiet monster that drains the spirit from the brain. It’s nestled in there somewhere, infinitely deep and potent. The harder it gets, the farther you’ll feel but she will be there, closer than your own skin and warmer than anything thought you have ever thought about yourself.
Please just go day by day.
She loves you, I promise.

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