- Vol. 06
- Chapter 01
Once it was you and I.
I remember the way your tongue traced the remnants of our treat sherbet; your eyes laughing with malice. You always let me lick the packet. I shut my eyes and tasted the stars. In the evening we’d emerge from the doorways. Children from the embers, crawling down smokey streets, searching for a crust of bread, a sliver of cheese. We couldn’t go back to Mother’s. Her moods bloomed and died like the cherry blossoms in the posh folk’s street. Your bruises reminded me of autumn apples. Still sweet.
About to rot.
At night, on the sand, we’d watch the lighthouse.
“Each time the light flashes, that means you’ve got another chance to be good. Will you be good?”
I nodded. I wanted to please you. I never stopped.
In the evening we’d watch the sun run away from our little town. If only we could learn its secret. You talked about the future. The chimney smoke bled into the violet sky. At night your skinny arms wrapped around me. If I snored you’d give me Chinese burns.
In the day, you’d stealthily slip between the stalls at the market; an apple here, a smoked eel there. I made you mad, but you wouldn’t see me starve.
The morning you left me, I was on the harbor. The fishermen hauled their catch off the boats. The salty wind temporarily blinded me, and then you were gone.
I went back to Mother’s. She never spoke your name again, and neither did I. Only in deepest night did I pine and keen. Lost to your memory. Bound to you still.
Now I look back and remember when it was you and I. When our tears were technicolor and our hearts were transparent. Our breath was sharp, and our worlds fragmented.