By Mimi Salazar
It is a cold December night. It is quiet in the small, two room apartment and I am lost in reverie. The moon shines through the glass panes of our second story window. It permeates the corners of the room and trims the shadows to slivers. The wail of a siren and the sudden pop of broken bottles draws me back.
I can hear T’s steady breathing and know she is fast asleep. My arm goes numb under her head and I breathe in the citrusy smell of her hair. She lies against me, her naked skin, warm to my touch. I hold her closer. My fingers linger on the small of her back, where the soft skin is marred with a scar. I finger the edges of her once broken skin, hoping to fuse together a memory. One in which she smiled…and I laughed…and the night wasn’t so cold.
Tuesday: After The Can Can Club.
The streets were scattered with young boys. All dressed in the standard wife beater and tight jean uniform of the WeHo hustler. Their faces were hidden; their bodies twisted in calculated pose, sending secret messages to passing cars with their semaphore stance, overtly sexual. We crossed Santa Monica, her tiny hand in mine, her face framed in sweaty brown hair. Her lipstick caked after a full night of dancing. We stopped to admire the Rastafarian’s silver jewelry. We must have done this for hours. Time meant nothing…because our hands remained inseverable, our kisses sweet, her smile blissful, my laughing genuine.
The sirens near and she stirs. I regulate my breathing to mock sleep. A confrontation, some hurt feelings followed by crying is the last thing I need tonight…breathe in…breathe out…breathe in.