all i have left is bad riesling and unfinished business

i. when i gave you the stars i didn’t expect you to make a crown, but it fit so perfectly i couldn’t offer a better suggestion. your dewy mane glimmered under the streetlights and i grinned to myself under my fancy umbrella that kept hitting you in the back of the head (i’m sorry) and asked my best friend how it looked; she said i was fighting it. i attempted to fix my face, but i left my tools at home and you were coming back up to us anyway. it suddenly became incredibly important that i remove my sandals and dance about so the silver bells of my anklet sang out in the rain. i did worry a little about it getting wet

ii. but since you were in the same state and entirely unharmed i figured what the hell and anyway it was harder to care about dripping jewelry when i was so busy keeping my hand by my side. yours just looked so…unheld and so fine with that– i wanted to be like you. i gripped my umbrella instead and tried not to make a joke about inviting you to stand underneath it because i knew you’d bring up that stupid rihanna song, even though the cup of its wet plastic ceiling would have meant your head had to be close to mine (your hair was hopeless by then anyway).

iii. i slipped in the mud on the walk back and my umbrella knocked into your neck again. i laughed to cover how close i had come to grabbing your hand as i went down, and how proud i was that i refrained and caught myself before i landed in all that mud.

iv. when your hand first touched my knee in the darkness of your bedroom i thought it was your blanket; i refused to believe i had been wrong, that you wanted me still. and suddenly i was cleverly pressed between you and my best friend and your hand was spread possessively across my leg, and my hand atop yours– it is remarkable to me how you can keep your hand so still while my fingers arc across your skin in bolts, touching here, tapping there, pull and press and pinch and caress and struggling, always struggling to realize the dimensions of you, the existence thereof, trying so hard to make you real and failing again and again later in those nights. i can never touch myself like you. speaking of which

v. i’ll forget tonight by tomorrow morning– except the moments in your arms when you slipped your fingers between my legs as you kissed me and i shuddered because it hurt and it didn’t and i sighed and sighed
and sighed into your open mouth, i wanted to say something, i wanted to yell, i wanted to beg you for things i couldn’t with her behind us and your eyes so black in the dark just looking back at me (what were you
thinking of and why is it fine with me that i don’t know?) made it so much worse– the need to open my mouth like i had never uttered a sound before and discovered speech and wanted to use it over and over
again, sigh and sigh into your lips, into your flicking tongue against mine and all my hips squirming and my fingers pulling at your tangled hair and i kept giggling because i know my face is ugly in its pleasure and i
wanted to cover how afraid i was that you think so too. yours is the first expression i’ve ever found completely inscrutable– i know you’d be pleased to hear that

vi. but it makes it so much more difficult when you touch me because i don’t understand the way you fill me with this icefire that rushes my skin cells and invades me and washes up and over all of me so that i flail
and hide my face from you and i want your name to push through the gap in my teeth but i can’t let it. you’re waiting for it and we both know it. we both know i won’t let it happen because it’s exactly what you
want.

vii. you will keep pushing until i shift, but where will i slide if i let you move me? where will i land– in the empty arms of the girl who should be– who probably is at this moment– squirming like this on your fingers?
she cannot crush me, but i’ll be damned if she couldn’t crack a couple of ribs–

viii. i have never broken a bone in my life, and i have no intention of learning destruction of osteocytes this late in life. it’d make a great story,

ix. but so does this affair, and that’s a much juicier one to tell.

x. i told you once that the rain is your weather. i find it hilarious that the rain has been hinting at its own arrival for weeks without delivering– i had no idea you would imitate it so closely,
or that i would feel your absence at its cessation just as strongly as the relief at all that glittering water around my brown foot and the tinkling silver bells you tried to trap with your legs in the bed.

xi. i can’t miss you like this. i refuse.

xii. i won’t, do you hear me?

xiii. do you

xiv. hear me?

xv. i’m talking to you–

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