Paper Hands

This crumbling nakedness within the opaque lake, a hand reaches and washes away the aches. I smile and she receives it with her own (a little sadder than mine, perhaps a little more wise). She struggles to adjust herself around the petulant convexity of her stomach. She asks: “How are you feeling?” My heart, I have learned, is something that will always ache. I tell her I am feeling so much better. She helps me to stand and wraps me up. I thank her for her kindness.

She sits at the side of my bed, telling me that she must go. I place my paper hands on top of hers. My fingers reach for her stomach but they recoil with the throbbing.  It will always ache.  She kisses my forehead and a door closes.

Everything is still here. Everything is still.

My eyelids fall as I begin to drift into silence; the aching of my heart calms. I know that it is coming, I see that full stop approaching-

(I must tell you I love you, I hope you know that.)

[Leah Jones]

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