He holds you like a prayer. The sacredness of his mouth. How his breaths settle to match yours, the breaking gasping of them. He calls you his Church, all blasphemous tongue and humbled awe of the faithful, and you believe him because that is what you call him, too.
It feels bigger than the sum of both your bodies. You hold on to him, flesh drinking from flesh, the squeezing of your fingertips almost leaving bruises. You wonder if she will see them.
This is a story you do not know how to tell. The words bump against the back of your teeth and fall back into your throat, crooked and choked. Because it is a beautiful thing, the tide pulling you closer and apart, closer again. And because there is no beautiful way to write it.
Time has moulded into something different, now: the clockwork of your heartbeats slowing down, counting hours like distances keeping you apart. Like mismatched coordinates that minutes bring closer, pulling your bodies back together. How they shatter in that first, always starving kiss.
You feel like a ticking time-bomb, finally coming to rest when the two of you collide, his atoms melting into yours, liquid and aflame.
The hourglass countdown of his breaths, the too-short eternity before he leaves again, exists without you, the shipwreck of both your faces when you try to pull apart and fail, how it never gets easier, how you always close your eyes so don’t have to watch him disappear. How you sometimes walk away before he does, foolishly trying to convince yourself it will hurt less this way.
You think about how he carries strands of your DNA all over his body, and no-one knows but you.
You don’t know how this happened – only know that his eyes found yours and the tidal-wave of that moment left you both re-written.
How his voice – the shake of it, the quiet depth – sounded almost afraid, warmth uncurling deep on your skin. The tremble of both your hands, and how it felt like the Earth’s axis had suddenly righted itself. You hadn’t known until then how out of orbit you had both been.
You do not ask meteors to alter their course.
You can only stand there, a handful of hours later, and wonder what have we done. Because there is no coming back from this.
So many big words and metaphors to say, you do not know how to avoid each other. You don’t know that you even can.
And the naked, graceless truth is that you don’t want to. You do not want to pull away from this man. Not when the warmth of his body next to yours feels like the only home you could ever ask for, and your thoughts bleed into one another, all sharp wit and gentle laughter and fervent love words, easy as breathing.
You play a part you’d never thought would be yours to play, now. You didn’t think you would wear it so well, didn’t think it would feel like the rightest thing in the world.
Here are things you know to be true: the sun sets and rises again, the universe expands in ways you cannot even begin to fathom, and you belong together, even in only in jagged, lightning-bolt moments. He is yours, and he also isn’t.
You unravel each other, the drumbeat of his hands mapping your breaths, his starving mouth swallowing all of you. Your skin trying to crawl under his, and how it is not enough.
It is not enough.
She gets the mornings, the casual of him, the breadcrumbs lost in the sheets and you want all of it. Even the towel left broken and wet on the damp tile floor, even the mundane of him. You want to know what it feels like to fall asleep against his shoulder on a Sunday afternoon. All lazy limbs and loose love.
You kiss him and he is covered in the ghosts of her, the tortured sound of his words, the crumpled lilt of his face because you are everything, and she is everything, too.
He calls her a home. And you he calls my heart. My heart.
You know her smile. The sound of her voice, how she looks at him, sometimes, when he is looking at you. You do not know much more. You know enough. You look her in the eye, and smile back, and everything feels cold.