I. you took all the words I could never pronounce and slipped them to me under the roof of my mouth. yet with time even stone erodes under water, and earth gives way to its core. a cave, a house; the idea of ‘us’ dwindled down to nothing but thin smoke, fumes rising from burning fire wood. as the flowers bloomed in spring, only your shadow took the place besides mine.
II. un deux trois, the numbers slip off my tongue in unfamiliar curves, a lilting curl in an accent too foreign for mine. perhaps we have always been strangers, born from the gap in adam’s ribs and the silhouette of eve’s body. dust to dust they wash and repeat; mantras ticking like metronomes atop grandfather’s piano. the melody still plays even though he is gone, paradise calling him far, far away.
III. she barely reaches my chest, small hands tugging at the edge of my shirt. her eyes are focused, brows furrowed in concentration. ghosts remain forever familiar; we have shared the same face, known the same pain. as my gaze glosses over the crumpled sheets and red pens strewn across the floor, she trembles against me. i reply the only way i know how, dropping to my knees and embracing her. as she begins to fade away, the truth rings in our ears, loud and clear – we both turn out okay, i promise, i promise.