The tree we grew up in had
burned. Everything had burned. It burned everywhere - in our eyes, our mouths, our stomachs, the backs of our, now, hairless necks. These hands; the ones attached to my wrists had burned my entire life. They had spent their time reaching for unreachable things, holding cold women, socking magic men. I now realize I have spent my entire life watching my hands. Detached from them. And now, the tree we grew up in had burned.
by C.M. Stassel
His callous hands skim the small of her back. Like shards of
glass her shoulder blades stick. Like dunes of sand her skin is smooth. Like the open space of an unlatched door her legs spread. She arches her back and slides into the nude. He traces the tip of his nose from her belly button down to where he needs to be; to where he wants to be. Her smell, it’s been stuck in the wind following him around.
His whiskers on her legs. Her toes digging into his broken ribs.
He won’t stop until she’s ready. She won’t know because she’s
never been there before. An addict’s tick - her hands spring to
cover her nipples, caressing her breasts. Chin to the sky - the high.
The man who smells of the ocean crawls forward for her lips.
Now, she uses her tongue. She takes control slowly guiding him
inside her. She claws his wooden stomach commanding him to
never stop. He throws his weight powerfully. Their noises shake
the room as they exhale every shred of truth they share between
His teeth grind on the skin of her neck – he’s looking for blood.
She’s already found hers. A single drop slides down the orb of his
freckled shoulder. They are locked together. They would choose
to stay locked forever but they can’t choose. There are no choices
being made. She finally finds the key and it’s over. It never lasts
Panting like beasts they lay side by side on their backs.
Glistening with sweat. He places his hand on her stomach and
squeezes. She holds his giant hand.
In silence a cigarette is flicked to life. It’s three o’clock in the
afternoon. They won’t have dinner together – or breakfast. But, in
between those meals, he’ll be back. One day he hopes she gives
him a reason to stay forever. She’s the closest thing to love he’s
ever found and lost.