The question is implicit, the answer inevitable. You snag olives off my plate while I pretend not to see. Another man might’ve grumbled, or stolen the cherry from your drink. I steal a kiss instead and make long, lingering plans for later.
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Your voice from below made me wish for the romance of a rose-covered trellis. Instead I let you in the back. We ignored the midnight trains, the early birds. Now I watch the morning sun trace your curves, thinking, who needs roses?
I have always been the sea. My pulse dances along the crest of every wave. Saltwater fills my veins.
Today my heart flutters in a tidepool’s deceptive tranquility. I crash against the rocks, hoping to reclaim it before you cast your net.
I stared at the summons. I wasn’t ready, but the vote was unanimous.
“Even you, beloved?”
Grace looked away. So.
I checked the sheen of poison on my knife, adjusted the combs in my hair, and shut the door on them all.
Cliffs before, baying hounds behind.
My back to the rock, I drew my gun.
“Climb. I’ll cover you.”
“Oh, love,” she said with regret. “I always have a way out.” She stepped over the edge. A bright sailwing bloomed, carrying her away.