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I Am Santo

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The weight of her words wasn’t vocabulary, it was the feeling they carried, as if each beat of her heart produced them. She and he had driven, walked, eaten, drank, smoked, slept and sat together, and her ease was still suspect, as if she were a lion tamer and he was a new beast. Her whip-crack wit and subtle, self-effacing smile disarmed, and he’d shown his belly, perhaps too fast. She wanted to place herself in his mouth, let his passions send shivers through her body, but heart danger lurked in the shadows of his silences, the muted smiles and vagueries offered were reason enough to believe he might kill as he’d done before; murdering love. Yet it appeared real, those kisses, hugs and airport tears, and when he’d gone she knew only that things were suddenly empty. Yes, the fear had left her, but so had whatever it was she was trying to protect. “Come back,” she typed; two simple syllables overburdened by heartbreak and yearning. Come back. And she realized then she’d already placed herself in harm’s way and jaws had closed around her. She was thankful for it, proud she too had surrendered. Because it wasn’t him that was the beast; it was love. And she wanted to be devoured.


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