her fingers reach and grasp for me- but no, not for my hands, never for my hands again- she grips my hair and pulls hard, drawing sharp and shallow breaths, riding me with an urgency that weakens my knees. she is drunk and i am not drunk enough; this night washed through with city lights, wistful jokes, soggy napkins weakening beneath cold glasses, a four-hour lifetime in this strange space between familiarity and trepidation as our shoulders inch closer by millimeters and our knees bump together shyly and i am close enough to smell the perfume you once knocked over into the laundry hamper, infiltrating my boxers and bath towels for weeks. and it's that scent that takes me back now with your mouth searing my skin and your glorious hair spilling across my chest and this is not the dizzy, clumsy dance we initiated the first night we met- it is eight years later and we have never forgotten the choreography. we perfect it now, as if every tryst before was only a moment in the dress rehearsal but this is the real deal, this is the primetime debut, and we are flawless actors performing for a solipsistic audience- lust on stage, desire made solid, the innate muscle memory of sex between two lovers irrevocably etched into anatomy. and so you bite down on my shoulder and i plant a trail of bruises across your throat, and our pulses drum furiously in perfect timing but then you whisper- i think i still love you
and then my heart fails completely, punctured by this fatal misstep, this unplanned improvisation. you told me after your sister's dinner party, that december evening we spent arguing bleakly in a snowdrift, can you stop being so fucking analytical. but i couldn't stop then and i can't stop now and i am parsing your words even as the feeling of your hot skin against mine threatens to drive out all out other thoughts. and i don't know if it is the i think or the still that burns raw against an open wound but i know with the certainty of death and taxes that i have never stopped loving you-
or at the very least, loving the idea of you.