>ALL IS ALL

>She’s an almost perfect vegan chef, and she cooks you something swimming in sauce. You dip your fork in nervously, and as it disappears beneath the swirly bubbles of semi-solid ghee, you think you get a sense of what it’s like to drown. The worlds above and below the waterline inverting like some magnetic switch and you’re breathing thick water and the sky invites you to dive right in.

Then she’s tucking hair behind her ears, but it’s the cheekbones, baby cottonbud cheekbones, that you want to see from closer up. You want to be at those cheekbones, arriving at them like they’re a destination and then you are, sweeping bowls and candles with your arm and the crash is clean, and nothing shatters. It’s all arms and a quick view of a skylight before you hammer your teeth into hers with the pure romantic violence of an urgent kiss.

She tastes of nothing more solid than rice paper, dissolving under your tongue. But everywhere else, well, it’s klaxons screaming from a midnight silence; her body is one big heart-stopping shock, slippery and solid so mighty real. You feel the sensation of her fingernails at your shoulder, and her hairclip flails at your eyes, unstuck and desperate. The hallway is a series of washing-machine spins as you slam against the wallpaper, with hardly time to watch its pattern repeating.

Her hands fumble at the doorhandle and as you try to help it seems that this is something no two humans have ever tried before. The wriggling latch suddenly unhooks and you’re in her bedroom, shredding clothes with inevitability so expected it actually hurts. The darkness you expect is not there. Light streams in from some unseen streetlamp, picking up the corners and edges of her room. The curves and folds of her body. You see those parts of her so exposed and you watch a red rash swarm up over her breastbone and through her throat making you think hopelessly of heartburn. Then you push through her hair and in the fragile skull beneath you tell yourself you feel all her thoughts moving. Then you kiss again, slower, tongues more like one muscle than two.

Everything else dissolves. Just you. You’re there, an echo of the body beneath you. Her face is translucent. Her skin nothing but a translator for a thin pulse. Her hair thin and light, invisible in movement like a thousand knives showing only their edges.
You’re on your back. She rolls on top of you. The earth becomes the air, and you’re breathing thick water, and you dive right in.

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