december’s dead, now

Terra Patrick

the days all bleed into each other when i lie beside you, your shoulder a rock, myself softly

clinging moss. how long would it take for us to become one? my stomach hollows as i let the

world eat me, and you make a home between my hips. i am the horizon and you are the moon,

inextricable from each other and intangibly separate. we both feel cold, only i don’t hide my

goosebumps. our lips taste like ash and dependence and regret. my lips are dry and you lick them

– you cling to every problem like a bandaid glued too strong for its own good. the way you sweep

my hair to the back of my head and rest your hand above my collarbone feels good. you take it

away and part of me leaves with it, stained on your skin like ink. i tattoo your eyes on every inch

of my skin until i’m sure you can see me. sometimes i worry i’m misremembering their colour –

are your eyes brown or are they hazel? on a morning that feels like 5pm, i visit a pet shop. i lie

about having a lizard so the employees don’t give me weird looks while i slide my hand beneath

each heat lamp, palm-up. my fake lizard is named december and we adopted her together – you

said you had so much love to give, to a scaly little thing. it’s my lie so i become the girl i used to

hope i’d be: i laugh in an unfamiliar key and toss my knotted hair like it’s silk and pick the

priciest lamp. i tell the cashier about december and she doesn’t care. before i leave, i buckle the

lamp into the backseat of my car like a baby. i drive down unplowed roads in the opposite

direction from home til i’m slow-cruising past your window, checking for a soft yellow glow, a

second silhouette behind the blinds. there is only yours, and i hope you’re staying warm. 

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