A month later and I haven’t yet learned how not to cry myself to sleep.

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    It is terrible how I ache to lean into him. Terrible, giant and baroque, this need, covering ground with great footsteps, to reach forward and touch his hair, leagues, miles, to press against him and taste his naked fingertips, every one, unmistakable, each drop of memory an ocean to drown in. The last time I wore this dress was New Year’s Eve, when our pinstripes matched and I took out his cuff-links to put in my own. We kissed, then, at midnight, caught in each other’s laps under confetti and flashing strobes, surrounded by strangers and glitter and chaos, and then, quietly, with a sincerity that shocked to my center, he met my eyes and said a toast to us, perfect, heart-felt. I wanted to stop time to stay in that moment. I felt like I would be transformed forever, a happier person from then until death. The champagne was bitter, the entertainment spotty, and I limped back to his place half ruined, my twisted ankle a broken thing, but what stayed with me was that moment, that untouchable, pristine moment that filled me with stunned silence, that poured through me with light.

    It is terrible that I am wearing this dress. Terrible, obvious and provocative, this dress, covering nothing, a candid sheath of longing to be undressed by him, shouting from rooftops, through megaphones, to feel his hands cradle my hips like a cup, so loud is my desire, this catalogue of cravings, deafening, vulnerable, terrified. The first time we were at this restaurant we asked if it was a date. We decided, then, that it wasn’t, even in the face of all evidence, yet grinned, conspiring, maybe lying, while offering our histories, shyly admitting our shames, building a shelter together, every beam of the structure a story, a narrative link. This will be love, I thought to myself, surprised, this will be love like I’ve forgotten how. I wanted to go back in time to hurry this moment. I felt like I was braving a dragon’s lair, safe with the knowledge of the hole above its heart. I had been isolated, a furtive species too rare to breed, spectacularly ill equipped for such good luck, but what stayed with me was the trust, that pure, mysterious conviction, that maybe for the first time, everything would be alright.

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