He sips his cognac
and she sits at the waterfall vanity
uncorking the delicate glass bottles
filled with powders and creams.
She argues with him about the order of tea
(sachet, water, sugar, milk, of course)
and the conviction in her voice
is a promise he doesn’t yet believe.

She looks in his direction
and her smile strikes him like a match.
He knows the devil is near the surface,
but he wants a drink.
He doesn’t care how it’s dispensed –
he vows to savor every drop
and learn her body like
he learns a language:
mouthing each word slowly,
marveling at the way the sounds
feel on his tongue.

Even in the midst of pain
he feels bliss
and he tucks her into bed
with his insecurities.
Her eyes begin to close
and he feels the void.
“You can surrender yourself,” she tells him.
“I’ll be here when you awaken.”
When the line is suddenly cut
change comes quickly
and he feels the burden
of time and separation.
“It’s not goodbye,” she whispers in half-sleep.
“It’s just a pause to catch our breath.”

 

 

©Elle Wonders 2017

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