by Lilia Souzay

His head next to mine, he falls asleep in an instant, as if hit hard from behind or rendered unconscious by a drug. I wonder if it was my voice or the words I was almost but not quite saying, cautious words, the kind that wander deep and surface only when it is dark and our bodies have broken open so far that fear and uncertainty can escape. 

There is something childlike about his sudden retreat into an untouchable distance, as if closeness was too much to bear for both of us. Something childlike about his face as I watch it asleep, less contoured than ever before, his skin a stormless sea, smooth. Silken. Perfect.