Writing You

She wanted to grab a hold of him and whisper into his sweat-flushed skin:

“I think I wrote about you in another life and I traced our lives into your flesh. Tales of seeing you on a packed subway car where the only person I let touch me was you – the stranger in the blue dress shirt with his cuffs undone and rolled up only once with two buttons slipped open to show barely anything and you fiddled with the middle button, fingers plucking at it, worrying it like a loose tooth.

“I wrote this down so I could live it in another life, so I would have enough time to build up the courage to still your hand and kiss the pads of your fingers and tell you that I wanted you to come home to my summer-sticky apartment so I could lick the salt from your body.”

She imagined he would say,

“So that was your touch I felt in every deja-vu moment where the world you were in aligned with this one and for a moment the I from your other life, and the me from this were one for a moment, and I was connected. I knew you then and I know you now and the salt of my body is yours.”

In actuality she leans further against the door wishing she had not worn the ugliest pair of jean cargo shorts she owned that made her calf muscles look ridiculous and her waist unremarkable. She knows her shirt shows more than enough cleavage to tempt any straight man, but she smells of pot and cigarettes and her breath is Kahlua and coconut and french fries because it’s Tuesday night on a subway train after five endless days of work and she never expects fate and is, therefore, never ready.

Never ready for a man just a little taller than her with both ears pierced and slightly damp, short cut hair and pale eyes with a light stubble along the bottom part of his jaw. He is carrying what looks like business school papers and is wearing khakis and a button-down shirt that when he walks away from her she can see the back is wet with sweat.

Maybe in another life.





© Michelle Austin and Little Gentian, 2014.

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