You’re missing a chunk of your back, he said to her, moving his hands over her vertebrae in stop-motion, counting in his head, counting with his touch. Measuring her vulnerability by the space between her discs and her blades, her ribs and the glades of her cheekbones. Her movement broke the plains he was planting with his presses, her twist turned her to him, locked her eyes with his.
I was made whole, she said to him, pushing away his hands, his caresses, remembering where she hid all the mirrors. Her body was all nerves, hid amongst the prairies and the mountain ranges, vibrating vibrato underneath her ground. She played guitar because she liked the way the strums echoed in her chest; a song that played within her, always. He was searching for notes, but all she had were lyrics, simple. Moles scattered across her body like a scale (he saw late at night and examined early in the morning) and a clef defined her jaw from a fight with her best friend in kindergarten. When she opened her mouth she was afraid a song would pour out, and then what would she do, if he knew
that her ecstasy found root in the every day, and flight every night
her imagination lit her and her world in a dazzling flame
her hope pulled her along
her love held her
her back held her
her lacks made her
her mistakes pushed her
her lovers broke her
again and again until she couldn’t string together a staff to hang on
or a crescendo to her needs. So she just played one note
over and over until she heard nothing,
and decided to play herself again.