Jack,

Yes, I could probably do this forever.  I told you that.  Next we could slide into that old world, and that old life if we wanted to, like sliding into a certain mood when the light changes in a room.  We could slide into the night when, despite all that, we almost had sex.  I cried about the dread wolf, and you pocketed the lavender mesh panties I had on and never gave them back.  I might be convinced that specific time has some kind of significance to this one, but Nick told me once to keep moving forward, when considering our old lives, and so I have.  You don't need to explain.  I left you, certain you would kill yourself the slowest way you know how, and never looked back.  Shit happens.  Maybe we owed each other once, but we don't anymore.

After Adam's suicide and subsequent return, Matthew's seizures got worse.  He said he was simply remembering his life as Ian, and with each seizure, he returned with more of the light on the moon in his eyes, and more unwinding babble about an impending collision.  With each letter he slipped under the door he became more and more insistently virile, catching me at odd hours of the day and night, to spill feverish his visions in my ear, and his cum in my mouth.  He began to embody Ian's same hollow desperation - that no one but me could see what he saw, or know what he knew.  That he was disbelieved by everyone, except in the poetic sense that all people pretend to understand lyricism.  Only I could know he was serious, literal, terrified, and shoved routinely between the pages of this reality to find himself inside of Ian's fits, and torn back out again.

I began to understand that I am the vessel for his madness, even if I could never be his interpreter.  Before his death, he would tell me all of it, and I would be left alone to puzzle over it's misshapen pieces and bits of song forever.  I grew cold, and quiet, and very still within, to accept with the best of my ability his frantic encounters.  In the cold landscape of the winter in which I'd been frozen, he touched me like he touches the fragile and the already broken.  Which is to say, he smashed me onto the surfaces of his flesh with all the strength in his body, and poured the crushed fragments down his throat.

It's boyish, his actions, and how a boy treats the girl of his affections.  While my gender before this all happened was ambiguous at best, he forced me into the form of a girl, where he shaped a burrow for his body to be cradled against the cold like a digging animal.

He finds me in dark corners of my thoughts, this lean and intellectual beast, to marry his visions he has while seizing to the memories I want least touched by the world. 

"Today, I had tried to go to the market," he tells me, his voice soft.  "A man got to close to me and I had tried to withdraw, but it started again.  I smelled his cigar and tasted his semen at simultaneous moments before I could trace the constellations from which the meteor will come."

"Are you alright?" I ask him, poising myself in the caves of the moon, my body crouched and smeared in black and white paint. 

"Yes.  Nick had come with me and after brought me home."

"That's good.  What do you think it means?"

"That you are the grace which all poets strive to capture and fail.  It is for you they die, and when the meteor comes, it will kill us to prove it."

I crouch lower, among the rocks, my hands flat on the cold ground.

"I don't want that."

"But we will die together," he reminds me, materializing from the darkness in his plain shirt and pants. 

"It is not my aspiration to die, Ian.  I don't know why it's yours."

His smile is gracious and genuine, showing the gap in his front teeth.  His green eyes warm, and I believe for one second that he is a boy who is capable of kindness before remembering that he is not, absolutely. 

"It isn't mine, either.  You will make me die.  You will kill me to tell all the world who you are.  I am your martyr."

I stand again, prim in my navy sweater, my skirt patterned with elephants, a girl again.

"You are not a martyr for anyone.  You come and go as you please.  So you must belong here, with me.  This is your world as much as it is mine."

He shakes his head, his black hair catching lovely the low light in the caves.

"No, Nik, this is where we all come to hold you.  To get here, we have to die."

"You're not dead," I sulk at him, and he sits on a rock to consider me.  Water drips in the silence.  I have drawn his portrait, over and over, and the paper litters the ground like autumn leaves in black and white.  I am not an artist, but I have gotten better.

"That is only because I know death best," he reminds me, and the boy vanishes behind the cold prince.  The devil I know.

"What?" I ask him, and he stares.

"It seems as I should have no worries when we aren't fucking and I should feel something more romantic than relief when we are fucking," he confesses, and so I confess back, sitting beside him.

"Sometimes I cry when we aren't."

"Since we are a lock and key," he says, and I nod.  He puts his hand missing his finger on my leg, gently tented like a calm spider.

"If we are a lock and key, what do we protect?"

"I'm not sure."

"I did not care very much what it was but then I thought it would be our child."

"It might be," I admit, and his mood changes rapidly.

"If enough of my cum goes inside you, it will go in your bloodstream and you will hear all my thoughts," he says, squeezing my leg with his hand. 

I think to tell him we're already well on the way to that, but instead I take his clothes off and we fuck on the ground of the cave, soot caking the back of my hair where I sweat.  Of course, we are both virgins, and it hurts like it does every time.

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