She believes in angels but only when she is so afraid of the shadows stalking her in the dead of night that she cannot find peace enough to even close her eyes, let alone sleep. Mostly her days are thin fog, rum raisin lipstick, the smell of warm rain in the air at the back of her throat. He doesn’t believe in anything though he thinks he believes in her. Her pale skin like silk as he tongues and tastes her yielding body until she is supple in his merciless hands. He makes her move, he makes her weak, he makes her come repeatedly for him to observe. And though her flesh reacts as she knows it should, her soul swims so low beneath the surface it has remained untouched for nearly her entire life. There were moments, to be sure, many in her younger days, of glimmering light, moments when the soft ache of a fading purple evening cut the glass in her chest, her naked love cracked, trembling, still beating. She will offer you her honeyed sweetness even as she hides away her finest fruit. She doesn’t know any better because some creatures are born unprotected, they arrive to earth different from the rest, unprepared, strange, withholding, and spend their lives searching for something they cannot name. The words they use are searchlights, the wet language of poetry. She keeps her gaze to the sky more often than most and as the autumn winds burn frost into winter, her crystal blue eyes turn gray and wide, as though she can see the many things that you cannot. She takes it all in and swallows it whole. Hurt and pain, lust and life, passion and death. Her heart is a graveyard hill covered in fresh white snow, a song of mourning in a land far off. Cloak and dagger. Hands clasped and cold in the valley in between her tender breasts. I think of her as I walk alone under a winter washed sky, my eyes to the heavens as the slim black geese soar high overhead, the hollow of their shrill cries coming close, closer, and then moving off. Lighting a cigarette, I tighten my coat against the freezing wind. There is a warmth in me that I keep to myself. There is a woman inside of me, I can hear the way she moves toward me, graceful footsteps falling into thin air. She speaks to me in dreams which call me home. Into her lips, into her ribs, into the heat of her disarming caress. As a mist moves in, I turn away from a world so cruel. I pray to nothing, breathe for no one. As the hour grows tall against the darkening hills. As the woman inside me waits, eyes upturned.