I am devoured by the vast space between us, the unrequited silence that leaves me burning into ash and charred bone. There are the quiet moments, in which I touch my palm to her heaving chest, feel the breath of heart and hunger against my cheek as I pull her close to me. I embrace the essence, the soft middle that melts to the touch and bring about sleep. We pass in stiff silence. I swallow words, nod a hello and continue to burn in anonymity. Tomorrow will be different.
[Jasper Kerkau is co-founder, editor, writer, and publisher for Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Publishing.]
I breathed her name in an invocation of memory, a strange ritual of lust and remembrance. The broken vases of time, the scattered embers of chance encounters and goodbyes that sting forever. “I will love you for a thousand years,” I wrote it on her heart, devoured her flesh, swallowed her as we dug into a new place. But everything is fleeting, people become strange and distant. Little miracles happen in life that takes us to different worlds. I remember the fights, the ashtray she threw at my head and didn’t remember, the comfortable make-ups that would last until they didn’t. We carved each other’s names on our skin that brought up beads of blood that stung when submerged in alcohol and the year that everything turned inside-out. In my dreams we dance and kiss one last time, shedding the new skin, bathing again in the glow of our young love.
We yielded, then danced, crashing into each other. Our teeth clashed as the sadness washed the soot away. It was a moment that flashed and receded in the soft shower of time.
She murdered me with hello. Her eyes gazing downward. Fingers resting on hips. The space between us will be closed in my mind, bodies clashing, skin pressed to skin, lips and tongues dancing in a delicious spectacle of passion and sadness. I find no words, nodding slightly, swallowing deeply, yearning for one grand gesture, but there is none. I yield to the insufferable void that sucks us all in eventually. It is too late to find the words, too late for closing the space, finding the center that I yearn for.
[Jasper Kerkau is co-founder, writer, and editor for Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Sudden Denouement publishing (suddendenouement.com). He has an affinity for run-on sentences and idiosyncratic people.]