We had come so close. We rationed proteins, we doled out water in scant mouthfuls. If we were careful, there would be just enough. Then we ran out of fuel. Outside, a blue-green world rotates tantalizingly out of reach. I lick my dry lips and send another mayday.


I traded minutes for kisses, hours for the slide of your skin against mine. I drew out every second, unwound them one by one: my fingers, your hair. In that perfect moment when time no longer mattered, the lark began to sing.


I thought I had bundled myself against you, had sewn myself into this shroud and made myself untouchable. I thought you would not find a way back in. It seems I left a button in your pocket, a knife, needle and thread.


“They call me Glory.” It is a use-name. This matters less to the thick-necked bureaucrat barring my way than to his masters. Burdened by the weight of a name I was not born to and do not want, I swing my sword.


The water lapped at my ankles and I thought, what if I just kept going? Would it be so terrible, to taste your name like salt on my tongue? The water lapped at my ankles. I dug my toes in the sand.