The movement of you gets stuck in my head like a song, a vision branded behind my eyelids in hot shades of red. Unconsciously swaying to the melody of your heartbeat as if I could hear it from across the room, I tip-toe my gaze around your sleeping form so as not to wake the beast of my wanting.

You snore slightly, endearingly, and a small lock of red hair sways to the wind of your breath. A sharp pang of jealousy for the easy way it brushes your lips, and I turn my gaze the the safety of ceiling tiles.

Held in the embrace of a cotton easy chair, is no replacement for your loving arms. Despite myself, my gaze is once again drawn to the magnet of your body, mired easily in the miasma of the unspoken which hovers around you. One pale shoulder has emerged from the maroon sea of blankets, and displays itself proudly to the glow of streetlights through the window. My lips know the curve of that shoulder, my hands have found the knots and pains, slowly soothing them until you sighed and smiled. My tongue knows well the taste of those freckles as they melted like chocolate in the heat of my mouth.

There is an empty pillow beside you looking plush and inviting, beckoning for my weary brow and my hair still damp from the wash. I trace with my eyes the curve of your body, knowing how my concave will cradle your convex with a perfect symmetry. It is expected of me that I will fill that space, that my warmth will banish the cold draft of winter that seeks to creep up the small of your back and make you arch like a cat. It is assumed in fact by your sleeping mind, that I am lying there now. Instead I am perched like a spectre of shadow across the room, like the ghost of desire haunting whispers of night.

Once I would have been that flame for you, the banishment of all your chills and the light to stave away your darkness, but now I sit here smouldering quietly to myself in solitude. Two pathways are diverging in a wooded path, and that fetching little bare toe of yours poking out of the sheets is wandering where mine will not follow. The eyes I once swam in are no more liquid pools of laughter, but hard impenetrable walls that I cannot scale. Your wordless looks have become flaming arrows that you launch at me from behind your silent defences, and my heart is riddled with them. This passive war we are waging has caused me to retreat from the battleground of the mattress, and on to the relative safety of the no-man’s-land that is the arm chair.

The solace of sleep eludes me as wayward memories get caught in the eddies of my mind, continuously circling back to nudge against my brain. We were like two rivers, and we met there in the bloom of summer to splash together down the mountainside, riding the waves of our emotion toward the sea. When two rivers diverge, they are never truly the same I suppose, as I take pieces of you and you take pieces of me. Wondering what sort of use you will find for the bits of my soul you will carry with you.

An emptiness yawns were my regret should have been, and I felt no remorse as our ship sank into the depths. The beautiful mess of you lying on silk and basking in shadow is a vision I have etched into the core of me, and it will lightly replace the painful jabs of your echos when you’re gone.

You have made that bed of feathered pillows and insincerity, so I leave you to lie in it as I silently exit the room. I will not lurk at the edges of your dreams, I will go wander amidst my own, where the willow trees will do the weeping for me.

-for Talani


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