by Lilia Souzay

I tell myself I should have known. You were always absence. Your last words before our first meeting were: “I'm hiding, find me.”

Find me. 

I remember thick wooden tables and a new kind of hunger. White sheets over a highway. A crossing, hull through water, the touch of your palms on my cheeks. I remember standing in the shell of a house, your voice in my ear. I remember lying in the darkness by the roadside with your silence. “Are you ok?” a stranger, bent over me, asked. 

Are you ok? Are you? Are you?

What I really meant that night I said I would leave you, was: “Now that I've found you, I'm so fucking afraid of being without you that I can't breathe.” What I really meant was: “Hold me and never let me go. Ever. Please.”

Now that he has come back, I imagine his body is yours. In my mind's disguise, he is a better lover than he ever was. From behind, your thighs against mine, you are not gentle. You take my hand and put me where you want me. You open my mouth. You give me your words, make me swallow.

When he is done, I check my phone, but you are silent. Gone.