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Chloe James Dec 2011
He twirls her round in time to the beat of the guitar.
Their flat barely breathes, shaped out of the elevator shaft
and sold with the promise of high ceilings.
Her dress catches between his jeans, and he smiles
at the way her eyes wrinkle at the close.
From this angle, you cannot see the scar seams
where doctors peeled him apart,
before stitching slabs of him together to form a boy.
A boy who breathes through tainted lungs.
A boy who sees his first as his last.

And when I touch you, I feel happy inside.
It’s such a feeling that, my love, I can’t hide.

She can feel his breath,
his heart beat.
She can smell his perfume,
and sometimes his sweat.
Beneath her hands, his hair shifts.
She loves that shade.
She’s saved a playlist on her iPod.
His voice.
His laugh.
His jokes with the punch lines that never bruise her.
The songs he sings when the sun rests upon his shoulder,
******* the strings as he strums,
croaking the words to ‘Here Comes the Sun’.

Little darling, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter.
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here.

He says he fell over the bridge of ‘Norwegian Wood’,
a glass neck blushing beneath his fingertips.
They talked until two, waiting for sleep.
He was too fragile to set up camp  in the bath,
his back would have been enveloped by bruises,
the lumps against his spine bulbous.
He’d held her then, she holds him now.
Supporting him with more than music and needles.
He was a nowhere man, before she taught him real love.
Alone, by the window, she moulds herself to his guitar
unable to stop herself from playing.

Sleep, pretty darling, don’t you cry,
*and I will sing a lullaby.

— The End —