I jog down the steps, my eyes wet, I go to the river. The path runs long. The moon full, shines a long path on the deceptively calm water. Not much below the surface, the current kills, so swift. The gentle breeze chills, dampness fills every molecule. I feel it’s cold on my cheek.

I swerve between sitting on a boulder and running down the path. Every time I close my eyes, I hear him, his voice, his songs.

Everyone warned me. Musicians live different lives, abide by different rules.

He jabbed his skin, needle piercing. I saw the silver into pale.

He called me a coward when I rejected the syringe, but that was the least of what he said. On the edge I understood he wanted me to be needy, he wanted me to be equal to him as he faded into someone else.

In the water slurping, in the wind spiraling through leaves, I hear him on good days, clear voiced love songs wrapping around my heart. I imagine him the last time, fingers curling in his chest hair, ear pressed to hear the beat of his heart, his finger tracing my ear, so gentle, so beloved. He sang softly, his breath cinnamon, his words poetry.

Mine, he said, until.


S. Darlington


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