Human Soup

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Running her a bath, he loses himself in the steam rising to touch his face. In the other room, she’s stood on her heels gazing through the window at the same time as smoking one of his cigarettes. The smoke ripples in the air, first above her head then down to her hips where it spins in an endless circle around her womb like an asteroid belt. Somewhere, the faintest cry of a lone animal can be heard. Perhaps a fox. Most certainly a fox. Sucking down a mouthful of smoke, she closes her eyes as he comes back shuffling his bare feet across the floorboards. Standing behind her with his hands on her belly, he buries his face into the curls of her hair whispering words for her and her alone. The steam from the bathroom follows him. It creeps like a ghost before covering the two of them like a sheet. Picking the cigarette from her fingers, he takes a drag then blows onto the side of her face. The time on the bedside clock says eleven, but the steam hangs before the numbers erasing them and their meaning. Digging his nails into the plump flesh of X’s belly, the steam moves to the light bulb that sways above them where it hovers like a cloud or it could be heaven or perhaps a dirty halo to mirror their own. Kissing her on the tip of her right ear, he reaches down and runs his fingers through her pubic hair. When he brings those same fingers to his nose, the sweet and sickly scent is enough to make him squint and stutter her name, and when she turns to face him, she snatches the smoke back from his hand and takes another drag. When she stands on tiptoes, she kisses him on the chin, and the steam descends from the ceiling ushering them to the bathroom where the hot water melts their bones and boils their blood until they become human soup.

A Journal for Damned Lovers UK

A Journal for Damned Lovers US

Anthology UK / Anthology US

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