After

There was a warning on the radio this morning. Stay away. Stay alive. The announcer said it twice. And maybe she meant fallen electrical wires, but my thoughts wandered to you.

Keep your distance, at least twenty-five feet, she said. Contact with live wires causes death. Stay away. Stay alive. But I drove to your place that night anyway. Any way. And your love shot through my lungs like fiberglass. And your touch tore through my heart like electricity with shark’s teeth, so powerful, I don’t even know what that means. And your eyes… I had to close mine and repeat, Stay away, stay alive. But I’d already traveled too far.

You wrapped me in skin, muscle, bone, and in the softest tone, sang sweet melodies in my ear. I soaked in your words like a warm bath, eyes still clamped shut. I wore your kisses to bed like a tee shirt, wore your breath like a gold pendant necklace.

Flesh-to-flesh, the rhythm of your heart split open the fractures in my chest. In your hands, you scooped out my heart, that splintered organ. Beating and beaten, but not defeated. You said it had a murmur. You said electricity is the most effective medicine. And I thought about live wires, about radio announcers, about the day you told me, nostalgia in your voice, how you wished you could climb mountains. Again, if only, someday, and I thought, Why can’t it be?

Stay away, stay–

My eyelids peeled back with the emotions you made me feel. I blinked up at your stubbled jaw, intent eyes the color of black coffee spilled across morning light. And I knew I’d lost the fight.

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