lancelot & guinevere

i watch your figure pause in the doorway, curves cut out of the liquid yellow light like a bad advertisement for menthol cigarettes. brightness surrenders to the firm lines of your flesh so that i am gazing upon the shadow of a shadow.

i am sitting here foolishly, hands twisting the blanket that brings me no warmth. the only heat i have come to know is the friction between your body and mine. living like this has altered my senses, shifted my tissue, and rearranged my circulatory system.

i am madly in love with you, but you will never know.

"he'll be back in twenty minutes," you remark, distant in your position against the door frame. your voice is cool and sophisticated. it makes me wonder why i am here, with my skeletal frustration, my clumsy hands and awkward voice. every night, i am a little boy all over again.

you change my temperature. you shift my time. you make sure i leave every night at nine. before your husband stumbles in, work-weary and tense. before he is too slow to love you and too quick to come. and then the two of you sleep back to back.

"i know," i say, and untangle myself from what we construct for an hour every night.

i dress myself quickly, fumbling with buttons and zippers, hastily making an exit because lingering brings your flesh braced against bone, your beautiful sleek lines and the way you bite your lower lip. lingering brings your goodbye kiss and it is that which catches in my mouth, my clumsy mouth full of teeth and spit and half-formed words. it catches. it stays. it haunts.

there is no dialogue lost between us because you don't love me for my words, my vocabulary, my impeccable grammar that recedes into darkness when your tongue seeks mine. you don't love me for the way i run my rough, large hand down your tanned cheek and kiss you so softly that our lips barely graze before i lower myself over you.

you don't love me at all.

i leave your house unceremoniously, front door shutting quickly. i walk a block to reach my car. i climb in quietly, fasten my safety belt, drop my head on the steering wheel. i sit in my car and cry.

one day he will trick us and trap us and catch us. one day i will spend my eight o' clock alone in my lifeless apartment and you will find some other way to pass the time. you might even take a vacation, fly away to milan, paris, london. i can see your delicate, long fingers laced in thought as you sit in first class and search for an alternative to your dreary life of settling. but you will never think of me again.  and i will sit in a worn-out couch with another woman filling my hands and whispering dirty, stale, meaningless words into my ear. and i will always be thinking of you. i will always be back in your bedroom with that chenille blanket worn thin by our passion and the shiny mahogany furniture turning a blind eye to my presence. i will always be back inside your arms, between your legs, above your lips. drowning in coffee eyes that wake me and shake me. eyes that bring me alive. eyes that betray casual sex.

i will always be back there, making love to you but you will never know. years after you give birth to your husband's son and the two of you move out of the city to raise a family, i will always be back there, an imprint of the only time i ever really lived, the nights that became a river of something romance novels have yet to define.

my fossil love trapped in your bedroom- the closest i will ever get to you. but you will never know.