There is a candle burning the last shallow pool of its fragrant wax in a blackened jar on a low table by the bed. There is the way I cut off my own words like broken limbs in my head. Fingers running fevers, fingers running along the edges of the white linen sheets as my body catches fire. All night we are turning blue. I open a window and close my legs around one another like two supple stems. Even when I’m with him, I am alone inside myself. Such is the nature of this life of smoke and mirrors, these splintered bones and this fragile skin. He knows it when we touch. I know it but I keep that to myself. There are some who would say they know the right way and the wrong way to be with someone but I don’t buy it. No one is being honest even when they tell you so. He stands his ground as I settle in for the long burial season, drag my eyes underneath the darkness of the heavy pines and wait like an animal. There is snow floating in swiftly swirling drifts in the center of my palms on the beating of my chest as you kiss me on my lips, mouth to mouth, toe to toe. The distance between us is nothing and it is an eternal stretch, the time between starlight and stars burned out. If I reached for you and you were not there, the echo of the silence of your absence would destroy me all at once. Still, I push and push you, like a dare. Like a masochist, afraid and emboldened by the threat of pain. Like a disease, a poison you drink me down, in spite of us, in spite of yourself, and your veins, and your heart, and your love for a girl who is running like tears streak flame down her soft face. As I look out across the rooftops touched by the gray light of cold dawn, curls of thin smoke stream upwards from tiny chimneys into the frigid early air. The stoic sky of winter bleeding through the bare naked trees. You don’t need that many words to write a love story, just a few that come and a few that go. You don’t need that much time alone before you start to feel more at ease. I miss everything about you even before you leave. Why am I homesick for a place I have never been. Will this haunt take more than one lifetime to exhaust itself.