She has circles around her eyes that remind me of smoky fires on late winter nights watching a firework display at the grounds of a local football club. As we collide, the water splashes out of the tub. She holds me tight. She plays me like a flute. The tiny ocean that cradles our limbs is as dark as the swamps I would throw stones into as a child looking for adventure due to the absence of siblings. I can’t see her pussy, but I know it’s there, weeping. Outside the window on a stretch of road as narrow as the strip of pubic hair above her noonie, a billboard advertises new apartments to purchase. The apartments are spacious, modern. If we were better people, we could be in with a chance of settling down the way lovers are supposed to at our age. Around her neck, are thumbprints and a crucifix. Both of which are birthday presents. The thumbprints an admission of my love, the crucifix to help her revive a sense of faith she’s seeking from above. A handful of dead bees. A ruptured kidney. The strange false memories I have of people falling to their deaths from hot air balloons and the stubble on my father’s chin resembling a raised forest back when my age was in single digits. The forest also existed behind my house, and even though I knew it couldn’t be real, I thought there was a chance it was, and every night, after my parents fell asleep, I would venture out into the dark in search of this mythical place where I was sure I belonged. The bees I keep in old jam jars. Sometimes butterflies. To admire their beauty, mostly. To fathom something’s mystery—I have to desecrate the air of innocence it exudes. In other dreams, I push people onto train tracks, sometimes canals. I want them to suffer. Out of boredom, I confess everything down on paper and post the scrawled slips through the letterboxes of the houses I pass on my way into work in the early hours of the morning. Out of disdain, I kick over flowerpots in graveyards because I can’t shake the dreadful realisation that one day such a place will be my forever home too.

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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