I press my forehead to hers and don’t say I love you. The scent of grape bubblegum lingers in the threads of her cotton summer dress. For a minute I’m five again and I don’t know anything, joy and pain are base and unaccounted for. I sense her skin is warm and smooth, but my nerves are inverted, all my efforts scrape against bone. The more I press the less I feel, every sensation dissolves in the search. Soon my flesh will melt entirely, I’ll be stood naked in garrulous detail, and she won’t say I love you too.

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