Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue. I'm just exercising my writing muscle for free enjoyment :)

the air that inhabits you

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.

- Margaret Atwood

(they are excellent at unspoken communication. A look, a breath, a touch can carry the weight of a wealth of conversation. But she's never fooled herself in that if this is a language, it is a second language for her and he –

he's fluent)

Sometimes she dreams of him.

Not those kinds of dreams. (though she'd be lying if she said they never happened – his soft voice and rough fingertips ghosting over her pale skin) But dreams in which she can look at him, look into him and see the world how he sees it.

Speak his language and understand his pages and pages of silent monologues. Sometimes, when he looks at her –

She thinks he is saying a soliloquy in his native tongue. Eyes that slide and caress, pause for four beats to stare at the right corner of her lips, skitter over and above to her left temple before dancing down, down, down to the shadow beneath her chin. It's a waltz, almost, his eyes on her face and she thinks it must all mean something – something intangible that she just hasn't translated yet, but she is trying, oh so desperately.

She would like to slip into his mind, and sometimes – sometimes she dreams what it would be like in there. Violent bursts of colour interspersed with little patches of silver, green and brown. In her dreams, those patches are a wood, and it is calm and peaceful, where she can sit with him and know what he is not saying. There would be a stream of water, quick and quiet and quixotic, a murmur of constant sound to fill in the silence that echoes around them.

Sometimes, she is alone in the glade. In his mind, but he is not with her and she sits by that stream and strains to hear over all the noise – listening, for his silence.

Sometimes, she cannot hear anything over the sound of her own weeping.

Sometimes, she cannot even find that glade, velvet moss illuminated by moonlight.

Sometimes she just gets trapped in the angry red slashes she imagines in his mind – and there is nothing but a hot angry wind that blows ceaselessly, whips her hair in her face and stings her eyes. When he walks with her there his face is slanted away from her, and so is his body. Mouth tight and eyes dark and turbulent. She dreams of this place more often than all the others lately.

Maybe it's a sign.

Sometimes she imagines his mind is darkness – total black that blots out everything around her and she cannot even find herself within him. She stands, surrounded by the nothingness and the absolute silence that is nothing like his silence. It is a void, a vacuum where she is not welcome. She ceases to exist in those corners.

(the words don't matter – never did, never will. Sometimes, when he talks, she can't even hear what he's saying over what he's not saying. The spaces - cracked crevices that widen and swell until they are canyons - in between his words, that's where he gets her. She understands.

She wishes she didn't.)

Often she thinks if she could observe him long enough, if she could immerse herself in this foreign culture, she could become acclimated. Accepted. And ex patriot of sorts, in a tiny nation located just south of absolutely nowhere, that only the two of them actually know about.

It could become home, she thinks, if she sat and watched and looked and saw and most of all, understood enough. His gaze could be like a warm blanket she curls up with, wrapping it around her shoulders. That waggled eyebrow would be like a ritual custom, the laughter after a joke, or maybe it would be the punch line.

Often she finds herself wishing she could finally get her citizenship, instead of this lousy work visa that requires reams of paperwork and proof, proof, proof of position to renew.

When he speaks now, she wishes he just wouldn't.

Can't they go back to that dance, that silent language she still isn't fluent in, but she knows well enough that she can infer his meaning, instead of being slapped in the face by the abrupt loudness of too harsh words?

It stings.

And she is always blinking back the tears. They swim, just under the surface, a permanent film over her eyes – like a lens and she thinks, she thinks –

Often she thinks it's distorting her vision. And her vision is important because if she can't see him – can't watch all of the things he is saying, she'll never get this right. She'll miss an unspoken word, miss a twitch or a tick or his hands curling out instead of in and the translation won't make any sense.

She blinks and blinks, but it isn't going away.

She wonders if it ever will.

(he pleads, palms up, eyes soft, speaking and speaking and telling her stories with every line of his face. She watches, oh so carefully now, and it's impossible to decipher, but she – oh – she loves every tiny muscle, every wrinkle, every line.

His face is like avant-garde poetry.


But tricky to analyze.)

Always his body is speaking to her.

There is an apology in the degree of the angle at which he tilts his head. There's a sonnet in the sway of his body toward hers and she can't read it, but she is willing to bet it is gorgeous.

When he admits that he can't read her language – that her tongue is as foreign to him as his is to her, she wants – she wants to suggest that they just wrap them together and come up with a new language.

She wants to slip into his dreams instead of hers and wander hand in hand through their combined dreamscape. What would their union look like, she wonders?

Inky night skies exploding with fireworks – blues and reds and oranges and greens that paint the whole canvas in luminescence.

Landscapes so bright and vibrant that it hurts to look at everything – seeing every detail, every (im)perfection.

Maybe it would just be them, ensconced in a dark cave, where no light bled through but they could feel for each other in the dark.

Maybe he would be the night there, and she would be the day, and at dusk and dawn he would bleed into her and she into him.

Always she wants to ask him these questions, solicit his opinion, but she cannot think of the direct translation and he slips away in the silent moment of her hesitation.

She thinks that she would be the air, drawn in and let go, a cyclic process of repetitive motions that was almost orgasmic in its necessity.

Better yet, he would be the water, his hydrogen molecules covalently bonded to her at all times. They would be fluid, and solid, and indistinguishable from one another.

Always though, always they would be together.

And that sounded the same, no matter what language she said it in.