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You Never Realized Distance Had a Temperature Gauge

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You remember his heat, how it was scorching, so much hotter than you’d ever imagined, when he imprinted you into the leather of his couch. Lava, you thought, I’m drowning in lava, black and slick and molten. He pressed against you with his fiery skin, and you’ve never been more desperate to be burned.

He’s branded you now. You belong to him.

You thought the chill would overcome you when he slid his way down and left your skin bared, but oh, you couldn’t have been more wrong. The licks of his tongue blazed through your blood like an inferno, sharp and precise at your core, and you keened through sweat-dampened lips, wondering when he’d taken the time to strike a match.

You exploded like a burst of fireworks, arching against his mouth while his name slid hot and hungry from your lips. And when he crawled back up to kiss you, the sparks were still raining over your body. You hoped he could hear their sizzle as each one fell upon your skin. You wanted him to know what he’d done to you.

Amidst the embers and the smoldering ashes, he slid inside you for the very first time. Your tears evaporated as soon as they hit your flushed cheeks, but not before he saw them. He reached down to kiss you, and you whispered against his lips, “I think I could die from the heat of you.”

…..

The white of his sheets reminds you of snow, and you shiver atop his bed, curled up like the fetus that is living inside your womb. Wrapped tightly in his scratchy Navajo blanket, you think ‘this must be my placenta’. But placentas are warm and life-giving, and all you are is frozen and hopeless.

You don’t remember bringing it in here, but you must have. You must have on that very first night, when your body ached so impossibly from the cold, empty void of him. Your tears froze on your cheeks, and you couldn’t stop worrying that the ice running through your veins could possibly harm the baby.

It was the longest night of your life.

His apartment was never cold before. You used to melt right into the floor from the heat here, as soon as you stepped inside. As soon as his hands touched your body and his lips found their way to your skin.

But now you can see your breath, and no matter the number the thermostat reads, there is a layer of frost that lives in your bones.

You try to recapture the fire that you’ve lost, by skimming your hands beneath your blouse the way he used to do, by slipping your icy fingers inside your bra and pinching your nipples. You moan his name as you press up into your slickened folds, but even there, even inside, your fingers grow numb and lifeless.

You can’t even sob when you try, because the cold has robbed you of even that.

So instead of sobbing, you lay your head against the chill of the pillow and you close your eyes. And you whisper, “I’m scared I may die without you.”