In the early hours of the morning, we embrace the shapes of yesterday, thinking the other is asleep. With our first breaths proper, there are cigarettes washed down with coffee. Dust enters through the open window. With it, sand from the Sahara that swirls around the floorboards before escaping beneath the bedroom door. Against our faces, like the snow caressing the window, oily fingerprints detail our descent into madness. They won’t wash off until late evening. That’s if they wash off at all. Outside, it’s March. A cold, bitter month where nothing exists other than unseen change. In this heart of mine, July shines. It shimmers on lips against sheets too thin. Sheets that wrap around my body as if I were a ghost waiting to rise from the slab. Outside, the cats in the front garden tear chunks out of their damp coats of fur. They whine. They hiss. They make noises like babies. Weeping chunks of meat, full of feral rage and mother’s milk. The bed we’re on is just a mattress on the floor. Placing one hand on the wall, with the other, I remove the pillow from behind her head before wrapping my fingers around her throat. Her head of hair is soft. My cock hard. The blood that flows within is as black as the bible. One of those you get in hotels, left by believers in something I’ll never believe in. The cats continue their war, and as the beads of sweat on my forehead drop like bombs, the world spins out of my control. Reaching out, she pulls me close—the dampness of her touch like a biblical flood.