Her confessions rise like a billowing of smoke from her chest, sentient and reptilian. I draw them out of her, the bait for this hungry serpent that wants to continue drawing strength from her forever, but which is tempted by my caring manner and consideration. As she speaks of her past, it slinks into the air shiftily as if to a pungi’s lying melody, studying with keen interest the blue light of my love, an electric ribbon of sea and sky accented by the brilliance of lightning. I don’t withdraw, but urge her solemn incantations to set rhythm to this charcoal liturgy, staring at it straight with eyes the color of the moon.
Entranced, it slithers my way and with a quick motion, I grip it by the neck and squeeze with the kind of hatred that can only be fed by a heart crowded with adoration for a victim. It tries to reel itself back into her, its soot retracting into her ribcage, but I twist my arm and coil its body around my wrist, yanking it from her as she whines, shaking under me.
My fist empowered by revenge, I can feel it losing strength as the memories yellow like sun stained photographs, and she gasps, eyes tensing at the pleasure of release as it starts to die, no longer able to return to its home wrapped around her scarred but forceful heart. It’s last fight is a strike at me, but it’s easily held away from my own wounded center, and I answer its aggression with the rapid, decisive cracking of its spine, my two hands wringing it – like a dishtowel – out of existence.
Her eyes meet mine, tears collected at the corners and she allows a long satisfied sigh, lifting her arms to welcome the unbloodied victor to his love’s embrace, the reward for caring, nothing more. It was a battle, but never one where I was threatened so much as she was ransom to a past littered with careless damage, and a future handicapped as collateral. A kiss, the grip of breasts under passion-tensed fingers, mouths wet with desire, we work together to heal the hole left by the banished wraith torn from her.
“It can never fully heal,” she tells me, and I understand this, but it can be better. Each shared breath and curl of our bodies in expectation assure me of this truth. I won’t tire of killing these demons one by one, her body quaking in delicious agony beneath mine as dreams of sensuous fulfillment replace the pitch of mistreatment.
We sink low together in sheets made wet with our breathless effort, cling to each other as we cry out for salvation from this war which cannot end, but will forever be tipped into the balance of our favor for as long as we lay entwined, enmeshed, engaged in the fury of our ardor.