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Nocturne – Melissa Goode

You are supine on our bed, your eyes closed. Outside our bedroom window the moon cuts sharp shadows as if it is not night at all, but a pretend night – Old Hollywood’s recreation of the Garden of Gethsemane. I lie down beside you and rest my head on your chest and it does not rise and fall. You do not shift. You do not move at all. Our sheets are flinty, cold, and they don’t smell of you anymore. I dream of your lips, your tongue. I awake, kissing you in the last remnant of sleep, my mouth open, my body cleaved, burning, and your weight on me already gone. The moon is so bright, the birds are tricked and they sing. They call. If you were here, the birds would wake you too. You open your eyes and turn to me and smile, slow and full of intention and history and all of our nights. You’re awake too, you say. Yes, I say, stay. You roll over beneath me and above me and your fingers press into my skin and I feel each of them as you grip me tighter and tighter and say against my throat, Let go. I can’t. Not-yet-not-yet-not-yet-don’t-go. The moon spills silvery-white onto us. We are mercury. We gleam. We glow.

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