LOOKING INTO THE LIGHT
Winter came early this year. The tree outside my window, under which my lover said his last goodbye, shed its leaves. They lay brittle and brown at its base, like a harlot's fallen skirts. It lifts naked arms to the sky, and in the night taps dry, skeletal fingers at my window. In my bed, I search for the comfort of a warm body and touch icy sheets.
The tree is refuge for a crow that circles, lands high in the branches and mocks me with a raucous call - gone, gone. Moonbeams touch black feathers with pale fingers, lighting head, and tail - a half bird, staring into my window. I close the curtains, and yet I fancy the bright yellow eyes see through the folds, and goose-bumps ripple along my arms.
In the spring I'll find a new lover, delight in his kisses, fly on winged feet to meet him, and in the spring I'll fell the tree.
My new love moved rhythmically beneath me, skin like oiled silk. The scent of sex strong in the air as her soft moans whispered her pleasure against my ear. Blood pounded in my head and I squeezed my eyes shut. Think of something else I told myself. Too late - I lost the delicate balance between success and failure.
Rose lay awake all night, and in the morning at breakfast she sat with her elbows on the table, and stared out at the grey sky.
Snowflakes flickered across the windowpane like a million white butterflies, dancing and twirling in the icy wind. The smell of toast and the warmth of the kitchen were comforting. She danced with George at the senior citizens club the evening before, and was seventeen again with her heart beating like the wings a caged eagle.
He said he'd always loved me.
She smiled at the empty room and reached for the butter knife.