He leaves small pleasures upon my skin in incidental dental indent, artisanal marks in off kilter circles displaying the irregularity of his teeth and our love. I lean into the kinetics of it and trace the path it takes through my system, nervous at first, in turns excited, a small point of pain pierces me deeply, dances upon my spine and dives into my heart. I don’t say anything and watch him listen. ‘I know it,’ he says, and lays his lips as balm upon my every hurt. Intake of ephemera, output of certainty, my body responds to bonding.
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.