Looking at her in bad light…

He hated the way her scars looked
under the light from the television;
flat, gray, lifeless; less a part of her
than some alien growth that flanked
her spine and followed the fair, almost
nonexistent curve of her hips.
The scars didn’t bother him, they were,
in a way, a small and beautiful part of the
larger and more beautiful her. He just
didn’t like looking at her this way, lit by the
blue glow, her naked skin almost melding
into the white of the bed sheets as she lay
on her front, her chin cradled in her hands,
facing the set at the foot of the bed.
“Can I turn that damned thing off?” he asked
as he settled into a cross-legged sitting position
at the head of the bed.
She turned and looked back at him,
not annoyed, not smiling, not anything.
“I just want the weather, they keep hinting
at more snow overnight…”
“Sure,” he replied as she redirected her attention
to the silent images flickering across the room.
At least she watched with the sound turned off.
He studied the crook of her shoulders,
the flow of her back, her waist, her ass,
and her long and thin legs. He wanted to be
far enough away from her so he could see all of her
at once, but needed to be so close, all the time,
that he had to see her in small parts.
He was so very, very much in love with her.
She knew that. She didn’t take advantage of it,
like some might. Nor did she treat it with indifference.
She was happy that he was happy.
She loved him because he loved her.

“I love you, Siobhan,” he said out loud,
not realizing he was speaking.
She turned over onto her back,
resting with her hands behind her head and looked at him.
“You don’t have to tell me… I know you do.”
Embarrassed, he looked down and said,
“Sorry, just thinking out loud…”
“Nothing to be sorry about, you need to say it
as often as you need to hear it…”
“I need to hear it all the time.”

How it started…

They had been together just over a year.
They had met, quite by accident, outside a bar
in Philadelphia.
She was passing by, walking her dog,
as he was leaving the place.
He smiled at her as they passed.
She smiled back.
He stopped and almost didn’t look back.
When he did, she was.
At first, he thought she was barely out of her teens,
which physically, was almost the truth.
She had been hit by a car at the age of nine,
injured seriously and almost died. By seventeen,
she had endured a half dozen operations
to straighten and strengthen her spine,
as well as bone grafts to rebuild her hips.
The physical trauma of the accident and the
medical intrusions had slowed down her
physical development until it basically stopped
where she was between that stage of child and woman.
All the pain, however, aged her beyond her years,
and it only showed if you could get close enough to see,
in her eyes. At twenty-six she had the tired eyes of
someone that had seen enough, but was afraid not to look
at more.
They talked, exchanged phone numbers and that was that.
Isn’t it funny that, sometimes you fall so far, and land so soft?
And so it began.


How it should have been…

Cold breezes.
Warm breathing on the back of her neck.
The smell of snow.
A knowing glance over a table.
Dusty kitchen curtains.
The sound of ice being cracked.
No “goodbyes”.


How it really was…



There is no end.
He just hated the way her scars looked
under the light from the television.

“I love you, Siobhan.”


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