It could be a burned out autumn, it could be the dead of winter, but either way there is a flame in his hazel eyes which seems to dance to the chant of maidens in the darkness of a thick enchanted wood. As I tug on my tights to pull them into place I catch a glimpse of my own reflection in the window of the small coffee shop where you and I have known so many late afternoon conversations which turned into dinner which turned into bottles of wine before falling easily, hungrily into your bed, which truth be told was just a mattress on the floor of your studio. We were not meant to be forever, at first we didn’t even seem to be anything at all but you were kind and gracious and I was curious and free. As I straighten myself up, the rain begins to fall soft and then hard and heavy causing me to pull my hood over my head and duck under a small overhang for shelter. Despite my best efforts to stay dry, the wind pushes the rain against my face and I taste its coolness sliding into my mouth through parted lips. Life is cruel when you least expect it. There are days when even though you try to fight the sadness it comes and puts its weary arms around you anyway. Across the street, the little stick figure people are running for cover while slamming their feet into giant puddles seemingly formed in seconds flat. Turning away into a corner of the building out of the wind, I cup my hand and light a cigarette letting the first drag sting my lungs. As I turn back to watch the hustle of city lights drowning their colored glow into the flowing streets, I feel your fingers lace with mine as you appear out of nowhere to share my smoke. I’m not sure how you got here or why and I am surprised at the electricity that jolts through my entire body when, without a word, I meet your eyes. You so close I can feel your heat, smell the scent of your skin gently dampened by the rain. My hair is a mess and you see it. My face is cold and stained with gray weather but you tell me all you see is the way everything about me glistens and shines. Having nothing to lose or believe in, we begin to kiss, tongues drinking each other in. Maybe it’s the rain or maybe it’s the rush of seeing you again after all this time, but in what feels like only a blur of slippery moments we are back at your place removing our wet clothes by candlelight, settling in upon a blanket you’ve laid out on the floor at the center of the room. As your mouth tastes the curves of my wet skin, your touch is familiar, delicate and rough in equal measure. Just as it has so many times before, my body responds and opens for you, something about the way you move unlocks me. You trespass and I allow, I beg for the sweet violation. We are an ocean at midnight, our bodies as helpless and obedient to our desire as the rise and fall of the tide. After we are satisfied, after the secrets are braided into our goodbyes, I’ll not stay and you’ll not insist. I take what is mine and leave what is yours behind. Not every story is a fairy tale. There are no princesses and there are no white knights and no one knows what they are doing most of the time. But perhaps there are angels in this world who take you back to their bare apartments with the warehouse windows stretching high in to the empty trees. They’ll make you Manhattans and feed you black cherries in the purple hours of random evenings you will remember for the rest of your life. Maybe in the rare artful hands of a familiar stranger, we are made exquisite, messy and divine.