Nights like this, I sleep naked, seeking relief in the coolness of empty sheets. I wake to the droning of cicadas, the yearning for rain, the ache of desire and the taste of your name in my mouth.
Seven hours ago I walked with you in the moonlight. We dallied until only a handful of stars were left: the last vestiges of night. Now the sky is pink and waiting; morning holds its breath.
Seven hours is not enough to make up for all the lost years.
My mother doesn’t believe me. How I see you at night in that instant before my eyes adjust to the dark. I didn’t open the window. I didn’t move that chair.
“Don’t leave me,” I had begged, graveside. It is just like you, you bastard, to listen this time.
They call me ugly because I am different. They call me dangerous because I am wise.
You begged me for fire. How could I refuse, you with your mother’s blessing and a woman’s smile? I gave what I could.
I would have loved you, my beauty, had you stayed.
Her kisses are light: all heat and smoke. She trails them like promises across my skin, each one an ember that quickly turns to ash. She is a candle, a hearth fire, a beacon; I am the one who burns.