"Come closer," I said. "I'd like a better look at your face."

She stepped forward into the light. The shadows peeled away from her as if relinquishing their grip with great reluctance, dark tendrils flowing back over sharp features. The hard lines of her mouth, unsoftened by a lover's kiss, led the way. Her eye sockets held pools of the black, hooded and mysterious with only the faintest pinpricks of light to betray the existence of eyes. Cheekbones sharp enough to cut paper breached the umbra, and light spilled across them like snow dusting the tops of some distant peaks meant only ever to be viewed, never conquered. Her hair might well have been made of the darkness itself were it not for the radiant vibrance that danced there in flat plates of healthy sheen. I longed to know the scent of her, but I held myself in check. She was not a thing to be taken without permission.

"You're as beautiful as I remember," I said, those being the only words that fit the occasion.

2014.06.30 – 2023.03.02

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