SHE CAN ETCH.

She can etch with her finger the place he lay on the bed; see the indentations where his head was on the pillow. She can smell his hair oil, his body sweat mixed with the lavender water. She can close her eyes and see him still lying there, can sense his presence, feel his finger (ghostly) run along her spine as she bends over the bed, to sniff the pillowcase. With eyes closed she can pretend so much, can imagine all sorts of things, him doing what he did best, and she liking, wanting it all again, just the once, just one more lovely time. She opens her eyes, just the indentation, the smell, the faint stain of hair oil. She lays on the bed where he once lay, shuts

her eyes again, puts her hands down by her sides, imagines him kissing her lips, wet and warm, his tongue protruding her mouth, touching her teeth, moving within. She pretends he is running his hands along her thighs, lifting her dress, moving between her legs, his lips pressing hers, the bed moving, her body alive again, him there, she holding on to him, wanting him to stay, not go and away. She opens her eyes and he’s gone, just her alone, lying still, motionless. The spider on the ceiling of her room, black and plump as a pudding, hanging there, suspended. All thoughts of her lost love momentarily ended.

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