the wreath’s rustle interrupts my sleep. in my dreamy shiver there is lucidity. between my toes there is carpet; I can feel its green, sense its virginal cool as I shuffle across the hall. I have the urge to scream, to tear the milk-matted blanket muffling my fervid anticipation. I hear you, then: the creak of the door, the friction of skin and silk, the sapped wail of youth’s wasted power. starlight pierces the linen curtains and casts my shadow ten feet tall, two feet tall, not at all. I crawl into bed and feel your breathing but it is not you. you are the unbroken hum of the furnace.
the sugared smell of candy fruit depresses my throat and ***** threatens. my eyes search the window for a stranger but only rain knocks; my clothes are still wet, dripping one, two, three on each step. they dry more quickly than the boards creak; more quickly than I can find the storm drain, my translucent skin sloughing off at your touch. you are the static of broken vhs, the rattle of the closet mirror door as it slams, the easing cries through a premature mouth. I scream again, only to feel you in my ears as cotton, in my limbs as rigor. you whisper my name and I turn like a dog.
dandelion seeds litter the dew-fresh yard. sing louder, you say, and I run faster. the wet heat is psychoactive. I trip and fall and you are the grass; you are the mud, the leaves, the water, the worms. you are the earth who protects my knees, careful to keep pristine my blue-jean jumper, careful to capture every moment of fleeting touch. oak leaves sway above. as intently as I gaze at it, the sun gazes at me and my doe eyes well. maybe there is something in them. maybe there is something in them with your crystal reflection, an eskimo kiss to speak what I cannot.
afternoon sun rules my body and becomes blistering, unbearable; I stir, pressing against the heat, pressing your fingers into my skin, seeking to relieve the thrill. steam curls from my eyelashes as they squint to see you through the illuminated dust. it accumulates. you are the sudden cognizance of the windburn on my cheeks, lingering october air sharp behind my eyes, forcing tears I cannot help but to explain incorrectly. you are their singed, sweet-hot puddles in my hair. you are the residue they leave long after your sublime touch made them invisible.
four different people