What were you then? A horse? A rabbit? Maybe a preta, wandering between the trees, begging for food and water that wouldn’t slip down your throat even if you managed to find it. And, in any case, no one would hear you or notice your pain. You stand outside your lover’s door; he walks past you. Through you. How could you tell him how hard things were, how to keep him from falling this far.
Tara extended her green foot. Stepped off the moon seat. The first you felt of her were her fingers on your shoulder. It’s been so long, you thought it was a tree branch brushing against you. The warmth, though, frightened you to stillness. She kissed the back of your neck; her fingers slid over your collarbone, circled the supernal notch, the tips rising along the thin length of your throat.
At first, you thought you would explode with the rush of air, but Tara held you, fed you, slaked your thirst. She kissed you on the forehead, letting you be. Letting you wait for him. What would happen next would take millennia. You are patient. You are diligent. Your breath is steady.
T.J. RIVARD has been published in The Café Irreal, Oxford Magazine, the Eureka Literary Magazine, Right Hand Pointing, SmokeLong Quarterly, flashquake, and the Kentucky Poetry Review. He lives in Indianapolis where he works for Indiana University.
DECEMBER WRITING TIP:
"Fiction that isn't an author's personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn't worth writing for anything but money." ― Jonathan Franzen