We huddled together, a broken lighter between the three of us. Anya’s hair crept towards her face, but no matter how many times I swept them through my fingers, they always raced down. River giggled every time this exchange happened, and eventually I did too. Between our laughs, our breaths formed tight clouds that wrapped together, and then, as we stopped, we all looked back at the broken lighter.
Huddling close to her chest I heard every beat, lulling in quarter note thumps I counted each one on her breaths. When she spoke, the beats grew faster, half note trills beating closer to her blood. And when I responded and when she listened they slowed to whole notes, stagnating by her throat as she cleared to find new words. When there was nothing to say, the tiny beeps beeped to fill the space around us in staccato floats.
A small child walked up to him, watching his mouth as the cigarette erupted in a small burning light, and faded in the same time, a cloud coming to hide its radiance. The man watched the child watch him, and he puffed another cloud, the burning light caught by the child’s eyes, and he raised his hands to hold it but the man slapped his palms away, and told him it was dangerous. The child asked why he held something so dangerous with him then, and he said in a low voice that it made him feel safe.
Under the sky, the sun held us together. Do you remember? The rays of warmth wrapped around us softly. That sunset amber painted our skin, our fingers, and in the slight gaps we left, the breeze came to silk our skin, and looking down at where our pulses intertwined it was all afterglow.