My Body Is Reacting to What You're About to Say


This hotel is a palace.  The days are swept along in a tide of maids, towel service, the shifting of the sun's face behind the blinds.  They don't allow us to dirty ourselves for three days straight.  On the third day we refuse to answer the door, we have merged into a single being that is sodden as a smoked hive, wrapped in stale sheets, commercials at our feet.  You are my prince.  Your smoker's voice reaches out to me.
      "Promise me we'll never leave."
      Your eyes are pisces blue, babyish and war-worn, your face frozen in perennial shock.
      "Your money ran out yesterday," I say.  "We've ruined the sheets and the front desk has your credit card."
      That wasn't my line; I don't play nice, I fuck up the script.  Under the covers I mark how white and graceful my legs are.  I could never really accept my body for its beauty.  Years earlier I came close—my face transfixed by methadone, avoiding my own gaze in a bathroom mirror in nowhere, Maine.  Mine then the beauty of a soft-faced porn star, pixilated to abstraction.
      We leave the next morning.  At the continental breakfast, an old man asks us if we are married.  I lie to him and our halo grows brighter.  The plain, color-drained food could be bathed in an opiate glare.
      Your face is a painting that never leaves me.  Our getaway car is a faint rumble in the background.  Our love is a baby that died unnamed.  
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