If December was her month, then January belonged to me.
She had your traditions and your conclusion, your customs and your god. But the opened gate, the clock ticking forward – every time, the hands reached out for me. I would count your absence down, should auld acquaintance be forgot I’d say before an explosion across the sky that felt something like your hand on my thigh.
And I would think this time it will be different, this year, this me, this us. A baptism of beginnings held under the sea, with me brand new when I emerged. Loved, secure, swinging from branches that were made for my weight. I met you and each new year with my skin gone toffee, my cells realigned, the salt tracks on my cheeks a better kind.
This time it will be different, this year, this me, this us.
Yes, January belonged to me. My landscape lit like a setting sun and you in the glare when we kicked off the sheets. We glowed with resurrection as the night gave way. This is what happened every time.
But it lasted only until the stars went out. In the grey of morning the year came clean; it marched toward December all over again, and I was set back down where I began. For seven years not a single thing changed – when the layers came off, it was still my skin, still my tissue exposed underneath. And you still tore at it blindly, still balled me up with the sheets when that first night was done. This is what happened every time.
(To think that you were the man of faith – when I am the one who kept it).
This. This is love. Now I truly understand.