Thursday, March 08, 2007

A girl who moved away from the water and still somehow manages to drown, and a boy who, lacking a basket, puts all of his eggs in his pockets. From across the room she takes the last sip from her tall glass of water and her eyes scan the exit signs. She could have avoided his eyes, if only she knew when to duck.

She watched them pull a body out of the river by helicopter, the enormous tongs dwarfing the form they delicately lifted from the rocks. It spun in lazy circles above her, soaring, for the first and last time, independent of the weight of its bones.

Hazy and impossible, promising all the same. Conceivable, the day that she tripped over the mask of the child and fell in a crumpled beautiful heap at the bottom of the stairs. The night that he dreamt of his heart, bloody and thumping hollowly, pulled down firmly and snipped free of its moorings. Playing house, playing with fire, playing dead. Sometimes all three at once. A soft song heard through windows across the street, hanging like iron on the tongue, turning to eyes suddenly cold in the moonlight.

He remembers the first time, the warmth and the smoothness, as less like learning something new and more like recalling something distant and forgotten. Finding himself at the answer of a question he didn't remember asking.

He rolls his tongue across his teeth, slowly, considering. Casting ideas and flailing delicately against their return. If he stood, she'd be too small to look him in the eyes.

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