by Nicolette Wong
The smoke rises, rings punching her silhouette in the dim light of our room. I stub the cigarette into the incense burner we use for an ash tray: magic is our territory and love the living unknown. At the wave of her hand I pick up the stone. ‘Don’t scratch too hard,’ she whispers, smiling.
The traces begin along the sheen of her collarbones, down her slender arm to the tips of her pianist’s fingers. On the day we met there were stains on the keys and her face unseen on the black polish, a beret lost in the cold. Now the notes live on her skin, curling with each red mark I make amidst the cascade of blonde hair falling to her navel. Above the chamber of resonance on a park bench, where we watched a busker swing to his guitar on a summer day. When days had passed she tied the lines he sang around my bedposts, small voids and imprints when she was gone.
The music comes together as I inscribe it on her thighs, rough-hewn rhythm to an inaudible pulse. On nights filled with doubt I ran to the edge of our story, until the siren broke and flame engulfed the streets. I had no choice but to return where I belonged. The porcelain floor beneath her feet.
She quivers; I let go of the stone and we kiss. The night will not close.
-refers to the word ‘magic’ in the poem It is Because by Shane Manier