It wasn’t supposed to be this way, and if it was there should have been a certain clumsiness to it. Perhaps not even that, perhaps a cold feeling between skin like a barrier invisible.
Instead, two people melt into each other and give in to wonder. Running right through an open door into a sanctuary of abandon.
The room is shaded by the leaves of trees, the air is thick with jasmine and my lips are lost to his completely. There is that one lingering second of anticipation, like a tree heavy with the weight of bearing fruit. Where breath meets breath, and eyes the green of a widening sea meet your own. Chest to heaving chest collapse under an expanse of cotton.
My hands trace the curve of his back and he holds me, I am the smallest safest pulsating ball of caramel. His back is a desert, secret landscape of my desire and his hands meet mine and envelop my everything. This is strength to me, a silent tenderness wrapped in warm muscle. His thighs the pillars that held up temples to his being and I can sit there to worship, burying myself in his neck.
Once upon a time he returned to me, battle weary laying down his sword and I bathed him clean, every part of him healed with my fingers as he covered my braids in fragrant oils and God kissed me right on the forehead. God with sea green eyes. Once upon a time on ancient rivers I was lost to serpents and he lay with daggers, but in this moment we completed circles around the stars.
There is not a part of me he does not surrender to, and when radio sings about feeling beautiful I know now what it means to be beautiful. My knees are complacent to his desire, every arch is alive from my fingernails to his ankles. I want to take him and keep him inside myself, somewhere safe lodged beneath my ribs where he can stand on a hill by the moon and blow paper lanterns towards the rocks where I have so patiently been waiting for ships to return in the night.
We are there on our backs for a slice of millennia, I don’t know where my arm ends and he begins. A bead of sweat, a pearl across his brow and he laughs with the certainty and valour of one who has conquered a mountain. He kisses me lightly on the cheek and disappears with the shadows as I watch the universe from my palace bed.
I sleep peacefully for the first night in a very long time. I dream that the door to my heart has opened and my mother has crept inside. She is armed with a feather duster and an apron. She scolds me for the state I have left it in. My heart is an old library with the shutters closed tight and a pile of dust. The spiders run away screeching, the windows creak as they open, we take out the nails I used to board them up.
This isn’t me in love, this is my heart open to tenderness for the first time in a year. This is where I can drop my shield and just let it all be, without fear of what something may be or may not be. How can I expect to let someone run up to my turret if I keep pushing them back down the stairs? Sometimes you have to let them climb up your hair, sometimes you have to meet them halfway in order to collide. Sometimes you just have to stop running away from everything, and run towards it, whatever the outcome. Battle scars heal stronger.
I don’t see him again; it matters little.
At my feet he left gifts eternal.