He doesn't mean it when he laughs in his face.
He knows he doesn't mean it when he bends double and begins to cry.
He doesn't say it.
He knows he never will.
He just shoves it all away and lets it settle on in his gut like lead.
And when the memories pull away it starts to feel okay.
Her hair is pearlescent and soft. Pale skin, big eyes…they remind him of bruises and for some reason dried blood.
She smiles at him sometimes, like she means it.
She keeps the pictures hidden away beneath the bed.
Except the ones of 'you and me'.
She's got a secret she hasn't told him.
He thinks, maybe, he should worry.
He thinks, maybe, he should hit her and show her how much he can't mean it.
Until he forgets and she smiles and pushes up on her toes to kiss him.
"We can be happy."
Even though she's somehow managed to be guilty.
He wants to be guilty too.
He wants to be warm like he thinks he remembers being.
But she hands him another sweater.
Says he looks like a marshmallow, smiles and laughs.
"So sleep now…"
"There's so much more to see."
He hears the list of her tongue, and the hiss of,
"You are mine, for all eternity."
He watches her blearily as the sky fades until dusk and the ceiling falls away.
Her skin is smooth and cold.
He likes white marble, the way it gleams and slides beneath his hands.
She's pink on the inside and her taste is sharp.
He can't say he likes it at all.
And he's forgotten how not to feel.
The pictures stay hidden beneath her bed and she never lets him wear black anymore.
"It just doesn't bring out your eyes."
Even though he knows she doesn't mean it.
She lies to bruise him up just a little more and he wishes that his tears made flowers sprout.
Sometimes they come like wild fire and he flicks his lighter until the skin of his thumb is gone.
He knows she doesn't mean it when she laughs.
But he doesn't need to say so.
She never wears white anymore.
"It makes me look sickly."
She says from within her crimson red dress, which she professes to match his hair.
Sometimes he finds himself in the graveyard before the mansion whittling away the days.
Dragging stiffly on the cigarettes she hates for the smoke.
"You can't have fire without smoke."
And her face gets hard and frightening and then she cries.
He knows she doesn't mean it.
He doesn't really remember why that should be painful.
And when she smiles again it makes him sick.
She speaks as if it should help, but not him.