When We Were Stardust

We decided it had been a month of physical time spent together over the course of eleven years. I don’t know when we learned to reach into the guts of one another, forge our way through slimy intestines and caustic stomachs trying to deconstruct the nature of ourselves, leaving tendrils of skin cells like breadcrumbs to the heart, but the reaction is visceral when we finally believe we have nothing to lose. Digestive juices separate what our bodies need from the things it would rather discard, and we sew the torn fragments of ourselves back together, one another’s weary hands a guide for these jagged stitches. So it had been.

I don’t know if I ever knew what you needed, but I knew that you needed it from me, from someone swimming through the pulsing recklessness in your aorta. I choose to believe you needed space to give yourself new kinds of permission from within. I don’t listen to your breathing, but I hear the words spoken by your skin in the quiet stillness as your lips struggle to frame desire. You finally asked.

I pass my day, soaking in small memories, fragments of letters and early morning conversations. We talked of sitting side-by-side on a porch with spiked lemonade. You said you could see yourself whittling. There’s hopelessness in that dream, an unspoken hunger aching in the core our guts. Are we satiated yet? We have become what my fifteen-year-old self secretly dreamed we would, a rock that does not erode, but stardust shifting form. We hold the memories of celestial beings in our skin, and when exhaustion hits, we let the dawn break open starbeams, radiating light from within, and we dive through the billowing wisps of cirrus clouds to soak in the sun.

It began with choices, and continued with words, movements of the body in a stream of letting go. In a myriad of lost opportunities, it began we stopped wondering when it would begin. It began when I let my fear slip from my shoulders like a blanket in summer and stood naked and unashamed with a challenge twitching in the cocked muscles of my eyebrow. We are safe here because we are seen here. We still catch each other’s eyes across the room and hold eternity in those moments. Your touch still trembles in my nerves, firing too fast in anticipation. I have learned to hold this space loosely, the only way I am able to touch sacred space as it flows between my fingers like water. With your tired muscles relaxing beneath my hands, you unclench. I used my fingertips to bring desire to the edges of your cells until you are panting and close, so close to begging.

It’s never been about sex, but about sight. I choose to open my eyes to the completeness of what you choose to show. We have never asked more than that from one another. I choose to dive into the softness of your skin with fingernails scraping and coaxing your nerves to feel again. In the integration of pain and desire, I meet you anew. I draw you into me until the thought of being on your knees opens a chasm of desire with no space for trepidation. I see where you are because I know where you’ve been. I can weigh you down, anchor you firm and solid on the ground with the weight of my being, or I can sharpen my edges until you fly. It’s a precipice, and there are no guarantees at the bottom. I am no more and no less than I claim.

There is not a simple answer. You hold a part of my heart that beats independently from my skin, and see more of me than most people are capable of comprehending. Deconstruction is an act of intimacy, and I walk the tired maps etched in invisible ink across your back. You let me dive in and leave tendrils of skin cells in the core of your gut. If I looked back beyond goodbye, it was only to tell you that you are still seen. I feel the air billowing behind me, a cloak of history shimmering softly in the predawn glow of the city. Walking forward, I leave small shimmers of stardust in my wake.

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