You wait on it for months, run your tongue over and over your teeth while you sit across from him: in cheap-tablecloth restaurants, in low-lit bars, in his mother’s house with your hands clasped together under the table. Sometimes your knee brushes the inside of his thigh while you’re making love and the faint sound of flesh on flesh leaves you so tender that you want to laugh, lighthearted, for ever having been scared to tell him — then you catch sight of the hard line of his mouth, the way every part of him gets colder when he thinks you’re not looking, and it ices you over too until even your throat feels chilled. You think sometimes that he is the love of your life except for this, this secret that creeps along your veins like ivy until you creak with every step, a settling house.
It trips out of your mouth one afternoon like an accident, like a slip-up, but it isn’t one. It’s as calculated as the way he drifts away from you, day by aching day so it doesn’t seem indecent, while you keep licking over the enamel of your teeth like it’ll erase every cunt you ever tongued.