A story of loss. By Sarah Davis.

I take you with me to the lake. that's changed in meaning to me now, but we’re not there yet. slow down. it's Saturday, it’s night-time, full moon sky. halloween.

I wanted to bring you here always, I say. you nod and do not speak.

it's nearly winter, toes icy in my boots, stones beneath us freezing through the blanket. we make a sofa of the wall. there's no one else around.

we are here, my love, my lake. the moon is painted blue and shaded on our left and we are here.

It’s been months and months since we left Cambridge. an endless eternity has passed since I did not kiss you goodbye. I've lived through centuries since last seeing your retreated solidity, suitcase in wake, body laden with bags and all the pain we’ve passed between us through the years. I didn’t kiss you goodbye.

the wind gets harder now.

you left months ago. you took me with you, you never left at all, you left a part of us behind. it doesn't matter. every version has the same sad ending.

I'm getting ahead of myself, I'm sorry. I never tell my stories in the right way.

start over.

it is halloween and it is late. I drive to the lake with you in my heart and in my head and in my lungs. you tell me that you love me. I play the same song on repeat, over and over. I almost cry but I don't think it's left in me, I don't think I can break my heart like that again. the last time you said you love me was four months ago. twelve weeks into lockdown. you'd called, drunk. that's always when you call. Saturday the thirteenth, so very almost ominous that the stars became confused and spilled out onto us. unlucky roll again.

you always call me drunk. and I always pick up because I miss you, because I love you, because the resonating of your voice is more important than any form of rest. you tell me things you can't say otherwise, like you miss me, you love me, you want to buy a plane ticket, and of course these feelings turn to sex because we don't know how to say things otherwise. for all our faults, we’ve always known each others' bodies.

you called me, drunk, and you mapped my hands across my voice with your voice, told me how to touch myself as if it was you, your hands, my body yours. you know this body well. your fingers in me, your biting mouth, my thighs around your ribs to bring you deeper, tug your heart closer to being mine.

the clouds hide the moon from view. my fingers start to numb. you're on my phone screen, you tell me that you love me. I tell you that I won’t have sex with you. I’d tell you everything but it wouldn’t work. it wouldn’t be enough.

the words would all run out.

The first man to come after you was not a kind man. he came with my head pushed into the pillow, my back my whitewash walls the only thing in sight while he slapped against me, something turned grotesque in autumn sun. he tapped my hip and said that he was done. he took the sounds he'd rendered from my fragile body as if they were moans of pleasure. how do so many of them get it all so wrong? but I wanted so much to be a thing of beauty, I did not care whose eyes were watching. of course they get it wrong. they will never own my body.

I told him I was getting water, broke-down in my parents’ kitchen clutching at my naked body, clutching at the water glass. is this how it's going to be from now? everyone following like a shitty kind of consolation prize?

You never hurt me like this, you never hurt me like the way he hurt me, my body arching to escape but always followed. you were a steady torchlight, searching for the path to guide you home.

I do not text him. he doesn’t text me either.

This moon will last forever. I am certain of little but this. I light another cigarette and try to stop my shaking hands. it’s the perfect night to bring you to the lake, it's got that melancholy you're in love with. glimpses of a blue moon and my numb fingers. you want what you can't have. or is that me? I can't remember now. I’m bad at telling stories.

I won’t start over. there’s someone else. I don’t  think I want to miss this.

let me show you

on the left: my broken heart, broken sex

on screens a thousand miles apart.

on the right: my shoulder blades,

my fear of looking at a man I hadn't met.

it is best to keep your expectations

in the gutter with your heart.

I won’t take it back. it got me this far.

now - look straight ahead, you'll see - 

there’s him, clouds in the sky of his eyes.

he sees me. 

(rushed hasted hurrying I need you closer I need your body closer I need to feel you everywhere and I can’t breathe with how desperate I've become)

he laughs at me, keeps laughing, and incredulous with wonder watches as I come apart above him. I want to touch him again. I want to touch him again and again and maybe at some point all the touches kisses gentle looks will turn to an infinity.

I'm looking at the moon, but I'm facing straight ahead.

I roll the dice.


Everything that came before prepared my body for this touch. it is good, i think, to be lit up in candlelight and tender smiles.

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