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Except the slow rise and fall of your back, you lay soft, motionless, and wrapped in half of the white fitted sheet, which is loose where you pulled it away from the corner, exposing the bare mattress. The top sheet lay at the foot of the bed on the carpet next to a heap of jeans, boots, blankets and all but one of our pillows. And now the fury is stillness shown in the mid-morning light that comes through the window shade, I think, as I watch you breathe.

I crawl, gently, across the mattress and push my chest and hips into your back. You sigh, softly, stretch and push your hips into mine as you fall back into the steady cadence of rising and falling breath. In and out. Soft and slow.

Against our skin the sheets feel dry now where hours before we collapsed into wet cotton, soaked with sweat and white wine. Against my face, they smell of coconut oil and cologne. They smell of grasping hands and curling toes. They smell of you and me, mixed like crashing surf, over and over and again.

Tomorrow morning, the housekeeper will replace them with clean, crisp, white sheets, pulled tight over the bed. She’ll take the empty wine glasses and she’ll wipe the handprints from the window, and nobody except her will know, I think, as my breath begins to match yours. In and out. Soft and slow.


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