Author's Note: I usually don't like to interrupt a story with a message at the beginning because it takes the reader out of the story's "universe," but I feel compelled to speak directly to readers now. Glow is dedicated to the Rent fandom, which may or may not still exist, though it's completely alive in my head. I haven't published any stories here in several months simply because I was too busy and too much of a perfectionist to finish anything-- but I haven't left this fandom. Thank you for sticking with the fandom and with my work. Enjoy.

blue

you have the bluest eyes i have ever seen

i tell you this with fervour

and you

grin blush the exhaling aloud

"i don't know"

come here and take off those glasses

it's raining

modest drops tapping sounds

and you have the bluest eyes


The subway was always too hot, regardless of the season. It smelt like bodies and coat fibres and it was spicy from sweat and food stains left to rot on the floor. We rode shakily, hands tight around the ceilings poles, elbows in each other's faces. People knocked their brief cases into my legs. Mark always gazes down at the floor, doesn't speak. Not on the subway. That was for silence.

It reminded me of high school—the long walk down the hallway, the metallic bang of locker doors and noise, noise, noise. People talking, chatting, arms around waists, tossing crumpled papers into the trash can as if they were basketballs. You can walk down a hallway in high school and be a part of it without being a part of it at all. There are conversations but you are not a part of them. The water fountain and the gossip groups jut out at you. They are obstacles. You must walk around them and hear snippets of conversations but you will not be a part of them unless you choose to be. Girls wear perfume and powdered makeup that smells chemical and noxiously sweet. Sometimes you think about the clusters ahead of you and the grey-blue metal wall and the fluorescent lights above you and sometimes you just listen or smell.

When we did manage to get seats next to each other, he'd fold up his pale hands in his lap, so pristine. Eyes cast downward, minding his own business, but occasionally glancing at me as if to see whether I was still there. Of course I was there. The seats were narrow and the velvet worn through. Our thighs touched and our elbows were pressed together.

The stops rushed by all too quickly. You had to remind me when to get off, yanking our bags up from underneath the seats, dragging me as gently as possible by the sleeve of my coat. Leaving the station, I was always confronted by an army of smokers. Any time I tried to quit, I was stopped by the overpowering urge to light up when I smelt the stench of smoke and saw people huddled in the cold, shielding their cigarettes from the wind, white smoke drifting away towards the traffic. Another trip back to high school, inhaling pot in the parking lot, wanting so badly to be seen but not seen. I wanted to be caught but not by the teachers. It was around the time that school started to feel as stifling as jail and cars seemed like the only escape. We leaned against them while we got high. The shiny bits and light that travelled along the chrome grate were so much more exciting through the haze of pot and cutting class.

Mark dragged me away from the smokers, up the block. The subway grew smaller in the distance. It's perspective. You know you are moving away from something when it shrinks and shrinks, until it's invisible, past the horizon line.

"…Mark?"

"Yeah?"

"Do you remember the subway?"

"What? Yeah."

"What colour did it seem like?"

"There was more than one colour."

"But it glowed. It glowed, Mark. The seats were red but it didn't glow red."

"I don't know what you mean."

"From the lights. It seemed like the cars were glowing. I couldn't fall asleep."

"You fell asleep a few times, Rog. Quite a bit, actually."

"But that was After."

"No, it wasn't. It was Before, too."


july

we are back in july, july

leaf-green, emerald light and sidewalk splat popsicle juice

our sweaty hands clasped in each other's

"another beer, please" condensation the glass

gold beer and white foam and fingerprints on menu covers

in our underwear the middle of the day

some things are cold the hum of the fridge new ice creams

and old undershirts with sweat stains in all the wrong places

faded billboards hamburgers ads for a coool milkshake

kiss tastes like coke/sugar/flat

a flip of the calendar and another month of rent $

in july, july


Collins was going to work in Philadelphia, teaching some sort of computer science at Penn. Before he left for Philly, he tried to explain his actual job to me. Something to do with algorithms. I remember being in a well-worn West Village restaurant, a little café with black-and-white cartoons of celebrities that had visited on the walls. We sat on shiny vinyl benches that reflected strips of light. If you twisted around, the light moved backwards. Collins talked on, wildly gesticulating in his attempts to relate algorithms to string theory, the Great Depression, calculus and the Rolling Stones.

"Roger? Are you listening? he asked, finally pausing for air.

"Uh huh." I tapped out an abstract rhythm on the tabletop. It was sticky, syrupy.

"You aren't listening."

"Huh," I muttered. "Oh." I took a sip of tea; it was his tea and tasted as if he had emptied three packets of cinnamon into it. I grimaced and salivated, trying to wash the taste out of my mouth.

"Look," said Collins. He leaned forward, his dark hands clasped on the table, eyes gleaming, face tight and tense. I think I wondered then if he was scared.

"I'm not abandoning you guys. If you need to talk to me, just call. You can call collect, even."

"Yeah." My voice was hoarse. It felt rough and saturated in my throat. I swallowed. "I've got Mark, you know."

"Sometimes he needs to talk to someone."

"He has me," I said quietly. I leaned backwards against the seat. The light followed me, an arch interrupted by the grain of the plastic, speckled. I thought of a rainbow fading in the clouds. It's going to rain.

Collins cleared his throat. "Well, he might want to talk to someone…other than you. Just in case. I'm visiting at Thanksgiving, anyways."

"Come at Christmas."

"I can't. I have so much tutoring booked."

I sighed dramatically, selfishly. My index finger was stuck to the table. I peeled it off curiously and stuck it back on. "But I want you to come at Christmas." Quickly, I unstuck my finger with a satisfying noise.

"Sorry."

I bit my lower lip and focussed on the table. Two spots of light, one bigger and one smaller, were fixed on the surface. They travelled with the white stripes on the vinyl when I moved my head. The storm was going to break. I feel hot in the room. Collins drew in a breath.

"Roger, I said I was sorry." He squinted at me concernedly. The table dissolved before me. I saw the sky, solid grey, faintest yellow-green light behind it.

"Alright," I murmured. Collins unclasped his hand, pressed his fingers together until they turned a pale shade of cream. His hands are brown on the outside and pinkish on the inside. I wanted to touch his palm, right on the swollen part attached to his thumb. The clouds swelled. I smiled at him weakly. I didn't have a rubber coat and it was going to pour. In my mouth the taste of raindrops; sweet and fat, refreshingly cool. There might be a rainbow, if I hoped hard enough. Collins shook his head at my slowly and then returned my grin, his knit brow betraying his emotions. There was tension. The clouds melded together. A single sparkle in the air, a fullness around me and it rained. My vision blurred nicely this time, leaving room for all the coloured bits and the reflections. I licked my upper palette so I might taste the storm.


the knowing

what thoughts are good:

my guitar wood and my music and you listening

to my humble pluck of strings

a slow song now

your eyes your lips so clear if only in my head

mmm i taste chocolate in the air

we have returned to the ward

the teal the steel the sterile the tile

and a mental music box

wind it up and and and

in august it is the knowing

you said i must have a cane then i will listen

click clack

roll me down the hall

but what made the fading so hard

the knowing


I thought I had cataracts at first. What did I know? Mark made fun of me because finally I was going to need glasses. Everything was the same, but blurrier, so it wasn't the same. The branches in the park were still their dark brownish black but I couldn't make out the knots in the bark and the specks in the wood. The leaves lost their outlines. I told Mark that and he said he'd try and save some money for the optometrist. I said it wasn't funny and he told me there was nothing wrong with getting a little myopic. But the close things were blurry too.

It was just the newspaper and then it was the books too. I could almost make out the words, if I squinted quite hard and thought about it. But I wanted to read like a normal person, without feeling as I had to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics without the help of the Rosetta Stone.

Mark tried to compensate. He read to me from magazines or the paper, anything I asked him to read. His eyesight wasn't the greatest either and I could tell he was squinting by the deep furrow in his brow. He had thick, heavy glasses and severe near-sightedness. "But my close vision is going too," he told me. "I'm going to need bifocals soon."

I shaved unevenly. The edge of my face was smudged into the wall behind me which blended evenly into the door frame. My razor was a blob of blue and silver, flashing in the light. Lightbulbs became starbursts. Clothing lost their patterns; they were solids strokes of colour punctuated by whitish buttons smears or a different shade of pants. I had the feeling that my vision had deteriorated far past whatever myopia Mark had.

There were other parts, though. The coughing and the sweating at night. We were sleeping together by then, more out of loneliness than anything else. His legs were smooth, curved, covered in shiny blonde hairs that followed the line of his calves. We talked softly or kissed in the dark, fumbling kisses. The blankets were old and smelt pungently musty. When we tried to sleep, Mark would eventually turn his back to mine, his shoulder blades touching mine gently, his breathing a deep rasp in the silence. I ran my fingers through the valleys in his hair, the little parts and soft, short waves. I pretended that I thought he was asleep when he pretended to be asleep. It was a good arrangement.

When I woke, my t-shirt had dark, damp spots of perspiration under my arms and across my chest. Mark was already out of bed. The loft was chilly but bright, pipes strung across the industrial ceiling, the floor dusty and cold as ice. My mouth tasted dry and woolly, as if I had chewed my blankets. Manhattan traffic carried on several stories beneath us; if I lifted my head off the sweaty pillow and paid attention, I could hear a symphony of car horns and scraping gravel below. Wind and percussion and the delicate string section: just the faint traces of laughter and screeches that tumbled up, falling backwards into the air. Up to my loft, where I could see the bright yellowness of sunlight but could not make out the door across from my bed.


hold hands

don't you ever just want to hold hands

pretend you are small and sacred and

the secret thing why i caved in

i held hands with you

oh peace of mind

the tight-rope walk, toes pointed

breath tight in your chest

sweaty hands the dark ahead wait!

you might just hold hands

i refuse i acquiesce i scrape the floor with chapped heels

elbow around shoulder

your hair the troughs and plumes so soft

like corn silk my fair guide dog

but perhaps the sweet appeal

that i might touch your hand


Mark and I went to a funeral for one of the people who went to Life Support. We didn't go to the group a lot and we hardly knew the girl who died, a young-looking twenty-six-year-old with Hepatitis C. That's not what she died of; she also had brain cancer or something, I don't know; her name was Saoirse and she hadn't come to Life Support all that often. I remember seeing her there for the last time. Her hair was dark, glossy brown and it was falling out from the chemo. She had thin lips and a navy blue bag decorated with flower decals that she placed on the floor where it could lean against her slim ankles. Her boyfriend sat next to her and clutched her hand weakly; he must have been at least five or six years older than her. I knew she was very sick but I didn't know what she had until her funeral.

The day was cloudy and unseasonably warm for late September. The light was pale blue and grey; I could see it blurred, smeared across my vision. Mark breathed heavily next to me. He handed me two limp flowers, wet with dandelion milk, and guided my hand in front of the grave. Everyone threw flowers into the grave; that's what he told me.

"What colour are they?"

"Can't you tell?"

"All colours," Mark said softly. "I gave you purple ones. They were light and had little black specks." We stood solidly. My feet were planted on the ground. I looked around and saw smudges of light and a few shades on the spectrum. A patch of brilliant orange-red blushed to my left. He saw me staring at it.

"They're just trees, Rog. It's fall."

"I know." I squeezed his thumb and felt him tense, pull away from me. A few people sniffled around me. A little choir of sucked in breaths, conspicuous swallows and muffled whimpers. I touched Mark's shoulder lightly. He didn't respond.

I imagined my funeral. Sometimes I wonder about leaving arrangements for it, but I think I'll be too specific. I'll sound shallow and horrid, saying how I want the speakers to be in just the right order, how my ashes should be sprinkled in the wind with one hand.

The cemetery smelled smoky and sharp, like cigarettes. I imagined the scene around me through the blur; a strange dance, hand to pocket, paper tube clenched in teeth and lighters going off. If I paid attention, I could hear matches strike. Their flames probably blew out in the wind. I'm dying for a smoke, I've been biting my nails and acting restless for days, but I can't light one without burning myself now and Mark won't do it for me.

"Maybe the problem with your eyes is a hidden blessing," he had said sadly. "Now you'll quit. It'll be better for that cough, anyways."

"The cough is unrelated," I insisted. "When am I going to the clinic, anyways?"

"Wednesday, and you can't say quitting is bad for your lungs. I've been begging you to stop for so long," said Mark. I felt infuriated with him, taking advantage of my failing eyesight so he could feel better about himself. Fucking self-righteous dickwad.

"Hey! Rog, come on…"

"Did I say that out loud?"

He giggled nervously and I heard a gentle shuffling noise. Maybe he was fixing his shirt and patting down his pants again. In my mind, he bit his lower lip the way he always did, his eyes cast downward, whitish hands gripping the table's edge.

"They'll fix it," I announced confidently. "I just need antibiotics or something. It's no big deal."

"And you've been taking your meds?" he asked.

"Uh huh." I held my head up high.

"That's good," Mark murmured. "We'll see, Rog." His voice cracked like an adolescent's. I reached out and my hand traced the air blindly, then leaned forward and touched his cheek, soft, feeling the mild channel beneath his eyes. Mark coughed quietly. In my mind's eye, his irises are shining, watery and the bluest shade of blue I have ever seen.


the stranger

and should i see in silhouette

against the shade a darkened smile

and soft peach fuzz against his tongue

the stranger laid across the aisle

with glassy eyes and softened nails

i just might turn myself around

and close my eyes and belt my song

so that The Hurt will sink in sound

and if the stranger i may face

with daisies wilting in his clutch

it's seeing and the WHY OH WHY

he's blue and sick so very much


I used to count sparrows in the park. They're little, dusty brown, so inconspicuous you might not even realize they're there. Mark would peel bits of bread off his hot dog bun and throw them to the sparrows and the sparrows would fly away, scared. If I laughed at him, Mark would scoff and wonder out loud why the birds were perfectly fine to poke around my shoes, pecking at the dirt encrusted in the soles of my sneakers and then fly away once they were being fed. And if I didn't laugh, if I touched his arm so softly that he wouldn't have felt my touch without looking, he wouldn't say anything, just stare at the ground, not knowing why his friendly overtures were always rejected.

I'm blind. The light is still there and faint hints at colour but it's so blurry and so twisted that a doctor proclaimed me legally blind. What is illegally blind? I got a certificate and if Mark had a car, he could park in handicapped spots now, as long as I'm with him.

"Don't joke, Rog," he murmured to me. "It's not funny."

"It's ironic."

"There's nothing ironic about it. You weren't the film maker." He must have been paying bills because his voice is coming from the counter and he sounds terse. I ran out of money a while ago, shortly after being fired from by job doing simple bookkeeping at a warehouse because I could no longer read or write numbers. Now Mark pays for everything and he does so because We Are Lovers. That's what he told me. I said We aren't lovers, I thought we were just lonely, sexually confused best friends who occasionally slept together and then felt ashamed about it after, This isn't what I agreed to, Why are you pushing me, You know I'm too stressed to talk about this now.

He asked softly, "Do you want something to eat?"

"Dinner."

I heard him breathing almost supernaturally. The sounds have gotten louder, so much more defined ever since I lost my vision. He sounded tired and bruised.

"I only want to make cereal or something right now, if that's okay. Roger?"

"Yeah," I grunted. My voice is rough, scratchy. There's something wrong with my throat and I don't know what. Sometimes it's sore and sometimes it feels fine but there's a lump in it, I can't swallow and then the lump goes away and the soreness comes back. I play guitar and Mark sings but his voice is weak and he isn't as good as me.

Floor sounds and cupboards sounds. Unidentifiable soft noises—his hand in his hair? I heard him lick his upper palette. That's how good my ears are now.

"I'm sorry. We ran out of Lucky Charms. I know that's your favourite."

"It's not."

"You're just saying that to make me feel better," Mark sighed. His voice is going to break. I will sit at this table with my fingers clasped in my lap and he will pause, breath so heavily and he will want me to find him in the abyss between the table and the fridge, press my knuckles into his back, let us stand together in the pause so he knows I know everything he feels.

"Are you alright?" I asked.

"Um." He hesitated. I scratched the metal table with my overgrown fingernails, imagining the skinny silver lines, highlighted scars. I felt a fork next to my hand. It was cold and there was something hard encrusted beneath the tines. "I could give you Cheerios."

"No thanks." Luckies are my favourite, he was right. I don't eat the marshmallows though, I like to touch them. They feel like chalk, powdery on top, only softer, more pliable. I like sweet cardboard cereal. You know me too well. I waited for him to remember to give me my medication for tonight. It's a game, how long will he forget? I push it sometimes, when I believe he might forget entirely, but he never does. And now the clicking of the bottle, the measured sniffle. The floorboards groan underneath his weight; he's coming towards me. Please touch my hair, please touch my hair. It's gross, sweaty, matted. I need a bath and I haven't had one in three days; in bed with a fever, I refused to get out. He brought me chilled soup on a yellow plastic tray. Sunshine yellow, puke yellow—even through the haze, I could see the tray. His soup was salty and now I smell horrible, like body odour and cold cream.

Mark unfolded my hand and placed the pills inside, securing my fingers over them tightly.

"Okay, Rog? I'll get you a glass of water?" He's uptalking again, insecure. In my mind's eye there are dark semicircles beneath his eyes. His glasses are smudged and askew upon his nose.

"I dry swallow," I asserted and quickly downed the pills to prove myself. There's a lump in my throat again, a burning spot. It might be the pills or something else. An infection, maybe. I rubbed my eyes and Mark touched my hand.

I pulled away. His palm was sweaty and I could feel his sentimentality, radiating from him. He swallowed and exhaled quietly.

"I guess you'll have a bath tonight," he said mildly. "If you want me to help…you can stay in my bed tonight. Or yours. If you want that."

"I know." My eyes are itchy; the loft smells strange. Warm for winter and a little disgusting, like a nursing home. I wondered when we had last cleaned the kitchen with some sort of cleaning fluid.

"It smells bad in here, Mark."

His voice is far. He must have left for his (our?) room. "I know."

"Have you cleaned up lately?"

"Oh…I don't know when…" He sounded nervous. I rested my head on the table, cool and hard against my ears. Mark entered his room and shut the door behind him with a muffled click.

I am the sparrow, but we are still lovers.


in radio

this is the new language

how i heard the smile breath

the bitter cough oh won't he sleep

this time or

your wet weak wan hand against my collar

and a new verb

we will listen to the t.v. and touch the window sill

cold/condensation/faint fog

the water glass and Groshang line

wrist-forearm-dangle-drip-hook-pole

still in the burning

i saw strange stories told

in radio

so

over the bridge and under the ache

a cigarette astutely smelt in

the haze


Mark has taken out the record player again, dusted off our vinyl. We mostly listen to the tape deck now, it's much easier to work, but he decided last week that it's time to listen to records. He's trying to cheer me up but it mostly makes him depressed.

He smells good though. We're sleeping together again and he comes to bed after his shower with wispy, wet hair and freshly shaven cheeks. I run my fingers through his hair and feel his warm scalp, squeeze the water droplets off his hair onto my fingers. He breathes heavily and I can tell that I don't look so good anymore. I asked Mark to describe me because he is my eyes now but he wouldn't. Everything else comes in detail: the texture of Maureen's sweater, how many crumbs are sitting atop the kitchen counter, the colour of the sky as the sunset washes out afternoon blue. But I asked him to tell me how I looked and he brushed me off.

"You look okay," he muttered. "You look fine." He swept a lock of hair out of my eyes, brushing it back behind my ear. "Maybe you need a haircut."

I asked him if I had the AIDS look. If you didn't know any better, you might confuse the AIDS look and the cancer look, but they're actually quite different. For starters, the AIDS look isn't bald and the cancer look doesn't include dark bruise-like lesions tainting your skin. My lips are chapped now and my mouth tastes sour and fuzzy which is why I'm worried about the AIDS look.

"I don't know what you're talking about," said Mark bitterly. He coughed. The sound was muffled; he must have covered his mouth with his hand. "AIDS doesn't look like anything."

"Whatever you say," I told him. We sat on his bed, my legs crossed, his legs presumably not. The mattress strings groaned underneath our combined weight. I smoothed down the creases in his comforter. "Play me the Rhapsody in Blue. I found that record in my parents' collection in high school and I thought I'd hate it, but I didn't."

"I don't hate it either," he murmured. "I like it." He eased up off the bed and went to the record player. I heard a scratching sound and Mark's gentle swallow and then the music flared up, crackling from the player. Horns and trumpets and dazzling piano—I see fingers, taut wrists in every direction, pounding and prodding and the bittersweet swell of the stings, wood against neck, bow against instrument and the taste of a fantasia in my mouth, so salty and rich.

And against the rush and the beguiling, unforgettably cocky dance of the trumpets was his breathing, enhanced. And I could see him again and he was thin and upright, pasty with knotted fingers and heavily magnified eyes behind crooked lenses. His mouse was pale pink, set and terse. I was the frail one in the shadows, sitting on the bed, hunched over, deep grooves beneath my eyes. The roles are reversed now. He can take care of me.

"Don't you miss living?" I asked him. "Don't you miss eating out?"

A pause and then Mark said in a rush "No." I imagine him shrugging, taking in my lack of comprehension. He always forgets that I'm blind and then remembers it again.

"I want to play in a band again," I said softly. The Rhapsody dipped down, soft and sweet. A violin squeaked out of turn and a flute's gentle voice fluttered up a stream of notes. This is what I wanted back: the now of it all, the mistakes that could be made. The mistakes that weren't made. Mark came to me and ran his fingers through my hair. His fingers were warm and plump. Doughy. He didn't have guitar string scars across his fingertips.

I pushed myself off the mattress and groped on the floor for my cane. It was smooth and cold to the touch. Together we are a team; I've had it since before I went blind, because of the lesions on my left leg that made walking a pain in the ass, but it's become a huge help. I'm mostly independent and I can travel around the loft myself, though that's mostly because I've memorized where the furniture is. Part of the reason Mark forgets that I can't see is how well I can manoeuvre by myself, at least that's what he told me. But if you looked at me, you'd know, because my eyes are unfocussed and cloudy—"the whitest shade of grey," Mark told me—and it tends to upset Maureen and Joanne when I speak to them without making eye contact. Maureen gets sniffley and Joanne becomes nervous and over apologetic. But Mark is used to me and he looks at me when he speaks to me, looks into my eyes. "Because I know you're seeing me, Rog. So um, that's why." And I do see, in my mind's eye, the squares of light against the loft floor and the plates stacked high on the counter. And clean white pill bottles in the cupboard and a magazine, crumpled and dog-eared, tossed onto the floor.

"Hey, uh, Roger?"

"Yeah."

"I liked it when you practised. I know I didn't go to a lot of your shows, but um…"

"Yeah."

"Can you still play?"

"Uh huh."

"Why don't you?"

"It wouldn't be the same."

"Please? Would you play that hard thing with the riffs? I can't remember the name."

"You mean, for you?"

"Yes."

"Mark?"

"Yeah?"

"No."


this day

so i said i dreamed in technicolour

just because you asked

and then the fade: dove white

i drift i wake the covers warm salty sweaty sweet

my jaw stubble the morning blur-light

sorrow tipped towards the day

have you anything to drink

the thirst and the throat ache the headache my heartache

and your prayer again

give us this day so he won't be sick again

kiss my neck

i haven't got a care in the world


I'm seeing again, in living colour, the most electric sensation. I've never seen so sharply, so defined, the grain of wood, the curve of light in his eyes. There are movies playing in every direction and if I turn my head there's a new one and each is more beautiful than the last. Only, I can be in the movies, walk into them without the pain, they're full of taste and smell. I can smell the thoughts of other people and I have this intuition, a sixth sense, something so unreal. Except I told Mark and he doesn't understand and he thought I was lying and then he thought I was crazy but I'm not.

"Rog," he muttered. "You have a brain infection. You can't really see."

"Yes I can," I said, "and I see you and you're wearing a blue sweater with light grey pants and your hair is messy but it's the blondest gold it's ever been and I smell your heartbeat —"

He put his hand on my arm. "You're hallucinating and I'm not wearing that."

"You are."

He sighed heavily and it was a sad sigh, not a frustrated one. I wanted to bury my head in his chest and write words onto his shoulders and take away the fatigue. That's something really, since I'm hardly awake more than five hours a day now, but I'm okay. Really. There's something to be said for being heavily medicated beyond reasonable comprehension.

"I need to get some work done," Mark told me. "Is that alright?"

I stayed silent for a moment, breathing in his appearance which was false, a memory really, a mental construct, but true at the same time. He noticed my eyes wandering, fluttering back and forth through the void.

"I'm just wearing the t-shirt I slept in. I was too tired to get dressed today."

"Oh. Okay," I said throatily.

"What?"

"You can work."

"Thanks, Roger." He shuffled away, his feet soft and nearly silent against the floor. My heart burned for a moment, deeply felt pain, and then I lay back against my pillows. Our recently fixed radiator sputtered and groaned, periodically belching out a gust of appreciated warm air. I think it's November, but it might be December. I've lost track of the months.

I fell asleep and drifted forward in time.

It was night when I woke, and I knew because he was lying beside me, knees tangled in the sheets. I touched the skin beneath his jaw with a crooked finger. He was stubbly and warm, a little feverish.

"It's snowing," I whispered, "isn't it?" My voice cracked softly. He stirred.

"How'd you know?"

And I said, "You're sniffling." Mark leaned closer to me, exhaled in my face. And his breath was dark blue and grey and soft red, all swirling and slow. I tilted forward my chin and brushed his chin and he kissed me and we knew I might see again, if I looked hard enough.


fade to white/the glow in the dark

but i love you i love you

i love i love

you you you you