The Bellies of Frogs

There’s a light rain falling, and you have beads of water clinging to your upper lip. Did this water come from a rainforest? Did it once swirl in the bellies of frogs sat upon giant leaves next to tribes worshipping gods with tempers as volatile as a thunderous sky? Before that, was it clinging to a comet originating from the deepest recesses of the universe before slamming into our planet billions of years ago, giving birth to life and the curse of consciousness that now comes with it? I dunno. What I do know is that as you sit next to me amid the skeletal remains of the market that by day is a hive of activity, your existence is a gift that should not go unacknowledged. A gift not just to me but to life itself. Who would ever have thought that from the heart of a dying star, someone could come along and change the lives of so many? And who would’ve thought that someone so beautiful could smile a smile of such sadness? It’s cold, and your nose is pink. Your cheeks, too. Sticking out your bottom lip, you seek my affection as one by one, those around us seek the refuge of indoors. For us, however, the night holds no fear, nor does the deluge that threatens to drown the town we love and hate in equal measure. The older I get, the more I wrestle with the inevitability of death and how all the moments in my life that have ever meant anything to me will one day be lost. I should let these islands in time shine with wonder, and yet how hard it is to shake the realisation that we are nothing but beads of rain sliding down the windowpane in a storm that will be gone come morning. Still, right now, as you slide your hand into mine, my fear of not being here is outweighed by having had the good fortune to have held you close while everything else slipped away. In a sudden bubble of silence, you lean forward and kiss me. It’s only a single kiss, and yet upon your lips dance a thousand colours without a name.

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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