First, comes the removal of our clothes, and the shedding of skin as the flame of the candle slowly climbs the bedroom wall. Second, are my hands that grab your wrists while observing your body as it shimmers in the mirror. Mirrors lie, and yet my eyes do not. There’s sweat and the smell of butter. There’s the taste of milk upon your nipple as I fail to control my thirst for what you are, which is a devil and an angel and a whore and a saint rolled into one. When you push me too far, I imagine you wrapped in carpet and being slung into a pit of some kind, never to be seen of again. A little harsh perhaps, but you have a way of winding me up, and to quieten you once and for all is the only thing that gets me through these arguments of ours. Sometimes, I imagine crows pecking out your eyes and a motley crew of wild animals gnawing at your bones, but it never lasts. Truth be told, I would much rather be with you through the thick and thin then to see you come to such harm. In the hours no one else will ever witness, we come so close to perfection that for the rest of our lives everything that follows will pale in comparison. In our own misguided way, we touch upon it almost by accident. When you ignite me, I grab your hair and yank back, and in turn, you dig your nails into my thighs causing me to sink my teeth into your shoulder. This beautiful place. This embrace of fire and wine. This circle of liars and thieves that surround us wishing so desperately to slide a wedge between our pulsating bodies- how we piss on them with such glee- the same glee a child wears on their face while blowing out birthday candles. What’s most important, I tell you, is that we do this the right way. What matters most, is that we feel everything as if it were a knife sliding in and out of our flesh. You say you know all too well what this feels like, and all I can do is give a wry smile while chewing the lobe of your ear as the flames climb higher and higher.