Dead Skin

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In one reality she rubs her nose against mine, while in the other, she stands in the doorway of the bathroom—her body glowing in the steam escaping through the bedroom window. She’s shaved her pussy, and in the smooth triangle of flesh I know so well, I hear the same music that’s coming from the forest. Shaking my head, I hold onto the trunk of the tree to save myself from falling, and yet in my hands, I see a bottle of beer and a half-smoked cigarette. I can taste them so vividly. They taste heavenly but not as heavenly as her.

“Where are you?” she asks.

Both versions of her ask this. The one up the tree does so with her mouth almost on mine, while the one in the doorway of our apartment delivers the question in the act of checking her breasts. And yet there aren’t just two of her. Even though I can’t see more, I can hear her words echoing around as if spoken by a thousand set of wet, lispy lips. Thunderous like the roar of butterfly wings upon the ears of ants, they wash over me in a wave, and while in one world I almost fall off my chair, in the other I cling onto the tree for dear life as the animals rush by our side, ready for the dance that awaits.

“I’m everywhere,” I reply.

Meeko up the tree kisses me while Meeko in the doorway moves forwards before taking the bottle of beer from my hand. Downing what’s left, she wipes her mouth with her knuckles as the sun blasts her face with yellow heat. In the dust particles that move between us, the mysteries of the universe are made visible every time the air from our lungs disturbs the tiny orbs that were once full of life now nothing but dead skin.

“And where am I?”

“In the doorway of our apartment,” I say, “and up a tree.”

Laughing like a hyena, I make out the sound of chattering teeth before my spine tingles from a blast of cold air that goes through me like a bullet.

“That’s preposterous!” she exclaims.

Grabbing my hand and spinning me around, I glimpse another version of her.

“I’m right here, silly, walking with you through the snow, don’t you see? Look at our footprints!

And so I do.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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