March 21, 2021 by The Citron Review
by Star Su
His previous girlfriends were slender wicks, all smoke and candied wax. And when he smoothed the hair from your face, you believed that you could be a candle too, hemmed in safe by the darkness.
He watches you make new bones. Complimented you for it, hand warm between your shoulder blades, now sharp little things. Steak for the lady too. Watches you become a knife between his fingers. You like this new mold for the first time, because it was designed not by you or your mother.
He brings you sauvignon blanc, but it has frozen in the backseat. Holds your wrists when you try to sift through the glass, spinning in the thawed wine. Aren’t you afraid of anything? You bring your lips to the bowl and swallow.
After he falls asleep, you take his keys, leather cuff still warm from his back pocket. The moon is glossed over. The snow falls in clumps, but the ground is still warm, the landscape unchanged. Your sweaters wear on, muffled in the dryer. Heels slumped in the foyer. You think of leaving a note, but your hands are too weightless to hold anything down.
You don’t know what he dreams of, only that he likes to pull you to his chest. Sometimes, you like to drown a little that way listening to his murmurs of someone else’s name. It is a game you like to play in the morning, asking for his dreams. It is not really a game, because every time he lies, you believe him.
But now you have the night between you, your breath forming ribbons of vapor. Snow surges against the windows, and you click the buttons he showed you to melt everything. You press them out of sequence, because this could still be a dream and doing something wrong will still wake you up. Instead, the snowflakes lose their angles, slide into thin streams. As you pass silos and mall pavilions, they collect in pockets but they are no match for the laws of temperature. When the molecules go cracking and spitting back into ice, you brace yourself. You should have known that nothing changes form so easily, not even the water that floods you now.
Star Su grew up in Ann Arbor and is currently an undergraduate at Brown. Her fiction is forthcoming in Waxwing, SmokeLong Quarterly, Star 82 Review, & elsewhere.