There’s something cold about the way he kisses me, soft twin bows cool on my spine, or perhaps it is the skin itself, so unused to the high north chill, that recoils and quakes at the simple touch of wind, door frames, quiet embraces where I don’t expect them. He, a half-conscious agitation of dreams and uneven breathing, winds himself around me and fits his head in the curve of my neck. I remember 500-piece puzzle sets I used to assemble when I was small, stubborn hands jamming the wrong pieces together and trying to fashion a picture that gave sense to the mess of edges and empty space.
My foreign words are fluent now, smooth expressions of nebulous constellations, but for the life of me I cannot translate this: his assured sleep and blithe sighs while I try to slide myself from under his arm and out the door, telling myself that it’s simpler if tonight’s the only collateral damage to account for. We, embodiment of continental drift, Pangaea disassembled by convection and slow subterranean waves, dreamed of love infallible, unwinding over the ocean until one of us found our way home.
He stirs the moment I put my first foot into the night, bleary gaze taking in my half-obscured silhouette inching over the ledge. He grips my hand and tries to pull me back, consciousness dawning quickly now, and I lean to kiss his neck. “I’ll come back for you,” I said, and closed the window on his fingers.