At 3 am she’s curled into a ball haunted by the idea of growing old and losing her looks because she’s seen it happen to her mother and she knows one way or the other it’s going to happen to her as well. The blanket hides her body just as the snow covered her footsteps as she came back from the bottom of the garden having smoked those cigarettes that always leave her feeling like a ghost. Such a tender creature- such a flower struggling under the weight of its own beauty. So she shuts her eyes as tight as she can and as she disconnects from flesh and bone the pain subsides until she’s a bird on the wire or a fox rushing through the undergrowth chasing the spirits of its long departed kin. Given half the chance I would hold her close and tickle her until the tears roll down her cheeks. Given the right moment, these ageing hands would caress her skull and my lips would kiss hers because I read there will come a day when there will be no trace left of our kind whatsoever and doesn’t it just fill you with dread knowing that such poetry will be wiped from existence? Doesn’t it scare you shitless knowing there will come a time when the beauty in your heart will cease and there will be no more chances left to speak your truth? So many seem to go with the flow, but for the likes of us, there’s little joy in ignorance. And though I hate her as much as I love her, every time I look into her eyes it’s so easy to see she’s just like me and when the wind blows through the keyhole and she shivers in her sleep I’ll pull the covers up and kiss her on the neck and though no one else will ever know the intimacy of our secret lives, as long as we have tonight, that’s all we can ask for.