The inside of a gun barrel is quite dark. Dark grey. You know that? Oh, you do. So tell me why before I blow my brains on this porch, on a night like tonight. Go on, give me yours horrific experiences on how you goddamn near died, and I'll show you my horrific experiences and you can clean the shit up. Then it really will have hit the fan, I guess.

You'd need a fan tonight if you weren't used to it here. The air's so stifling, but we don't get tourists or new people much - except you - so that's alright. Don't even have air con, and I know, even with you muttering it under your breath behind me when we've been in the shops.

Your breath is beautiful. Hits the back of my neck sometimes, and I can almost see it in the air in my head now it's dark and you've stopped muttering. You've stopped full stop. Looking at me like I've lost it, and you aren't even shuffling any more. Usually you have this awkwardness around you when you don't know what you're doing, which is unusual for round here because no one does anything but looks damn good at doing it. You stand heavy on your left leg sometimes, like you've got a sore foot. I know you don't though cause otherwise I'd have heard you complaining about that, too.

Wishing on a star.

Do you know that song? There's a line from that song anyway that says 'wishing on a star'. It's coming in the air, or maybe just playing in my head and I don't even like that music, high pitch bitch voice and you know, that's how I feel sometimes.

Do you know how fantastic you look in that shirt. And it's really not that amazing, but on you, jesus. Stay out of this place - you'll ruin it forever when you're gone. Whether or not I'm still here though.

I've got this image of the fields in my head. Mustard yellow or whatever shade the name is, and we were down the lake. Swinging off that tree, dropping into the river like flies - isn't that what they say? Who cares? I'm not spending my moments flipping through American-isms.

And god that water was cold, and you dropped in with your shirt on and when it stuck to you it pronounced everything. You should eat more; bulk out. You're too perfect, it's unnerving. Although it's true you're awkward sometimes with yourself - though why is beyond me - and you complain. Cynicism is one thing.

Blue shirt on now, you stopped dead when you saw me and sat on the step, watching. Even then, I was only holding the thing by my side. You could wonder why I've got a .22 lying around. Special occasions, cause it's not a gun for animals. Nice clean hole though. Straight through the front and a mess at the back. Fall back and no-one'll notice for a while. Halo of blood.

"What do you think?" I say when you ask me what I'm doing with the gun.

"Are you gonna use it?"

I tot it towards you, laughing a bit, and you don't flinch and I'd give you credit. I get this warm thing in my stomach cause I guess you trust me. Either that or your reflexes are appalling. Your jeans are too good on you. Man, some things should be illegal.

I laugh some more and take it away from you. You put your hands behind you and lean back against the flat at the top of the steps. I wish I had a cold lake now, honestly.

I drop it on the floor, and it won't go off because the safety catch is on. It hits the floor dead and I pelt up the steps inside.

"Hang on," I say, as if you're going anywhere. You know this place, but you've got nowhere else to go. I'm glad you're staying with me, makes the idea of seduction - if that's even the right word for what it is - a lot more plausible. Even though I haven't done a thing. I probably won't.

Inside, I pull a glass and down a water from the tap seconds after I fill the thing. I throw the glass in the sink and it floats away in the bowl of stagnant water I should drain. I swear you tidy this place when I'm not looking. For a house of disrepute, it's not looking as disreputable as I remember.

I'm outside in the sand and I know you've not touched it because there aren't any footprints in the dust around it, plus you're leaning back on your elbows and looking at the stars. When you became this relaxed I don't know.

Your shirt should be illegal on you, like I've said. Ban you from this state, they should. I pull the gun up from the floor with lazy fingers and start walking down the road, tarmac cold under my feet now, though it's been sunny all day. I wouldn't know though, I'm wearing shoes. I stop speculating on the tarmac and turn around to see you walking, still metres away from the steps.

"Come on," I yell and run down the road. Trees tall on one side and I run some more, and dark off into them. I hold my panting from behind the tree, grass against my legs is a sensation I've got used to. I watch you from where I am. Your shadow's stretching as you walk, the light from the house fading yellow the further you get. The light crunch of your shoes is all I can hear alongside some waning noise in the trees. Animals, birds or something,

"You bastard," I hear you mutter under your breath. Your voice is lower than a whisper and I wonder what it'd be like to feel your breath on my neck. I bring my hand up to my mouth and breathe lightly on it, and I can feel, but man, from your mouth there's a huge difference.

You're still walking, ignoring the fact that I've vanished. Looking at you again, I wonder why you're here almost cause you're too good for here. You want to be in the city, slouched on a tram or a bus with music in your ears - or on a beach - and slumming in your seat like you were made to be photographed. You make me feel disgusting when I'm watching you, because you're so far away. The prejudice is almost sad here, but I'm as racist as some so what does that matter. They can beat me because I'm gay, or whatever, and I can shoot the black ones. It seems like a fair deal.

I sit, flat on the floor and stare out and it's dry expanse all like the films - all Gilbert Grape and trailers. And you walking down the road and I stare. I pull up, heave heave and my feet beat and speed up and I'm running. I run into the road, full pelt and you must know I'm coming from the noise of my shoes heavy on the ground. They crunch loudly - my heart in my ears and I never knew you got this far from me but I jump and land on your back like a piggy-back and we go down. Smash into the ground and roll, roll. My eyes open and oh shit, did they shut? But you're so close, so tantalisingly close and oh boy. Oh boy.

I look at you, and you look so perfect, and I look for the gun and find it and it's OK and it's not misfired anywhere even with the safety on. And I look back at you. And you look at me, and we lie there. I roll onto my back properly and look up at the sky, and it's so peachy.

"The sky," I say and point.

"Marvellous," you say. Oh boy, and it is with you here. I look sideways at you and you're just lying there staring at the sky.

'Nice pattern they make', I think. They're quite nice. Sort of artsy. "Do you love me?" you say.

"What?" I say.

"I figured I'd be OK saying that," you said. "What's the worst that can happen?"

'Interesting', I think. "I could kill you," I say.

"Would you?"

"I might kill ITALICS myself," I inform you.

You look suitably informed. The sky looms dark above us, and I'm still staring at it. Far away but it seems close against my eyes. I look at you, turning my head and goddamn stare at you and it's not like you couldn't notice. And when I'm doing this you say it again; "Do you? Do you love me?"

I don't stop looking at you - it's not like I'm ashamed. There'd be no point. "Maybe." I say. "Lust. Or love."

"Love," you say. I stare at the sky, and close my eyes. I hear you move to get up, but you kiss me. Just soft on my lips and so I guess you haven't got up, and when I look, you're still lying looking up at the stars. My brain's on a tangent, and it's impossible to pay a second of attention to the sky.

"You have to love me." I look. "Looking like this," and you gesture. Oh boy. The gesture does it all.

I stand up, dust of and walk the same way we were going and you're still lying there.

"Honey bun," you say.

I'm still walking. "Honey bun," you say, and masquerade an accent across in your voice and how can your fake-Texan sound so hot?

"I love you too," you say.

I'm still walking and suddenly the rip-roar of a BANG is through the air. Sky-high sound and burns my ears for a second. It's over my head but I stop, though I don't turn around.

"Goddamn you," you say in his northern plain, crisp and beautiful though I never thought I'd say that about it, though you weren't featuring in that thought.

I hear a sigh and I'm still stood, stopped. Standstill - a train couldn't knock me through. I turn around, but what's the point. You're still staring at the stars and haven't moved, but slowly I walk back.

"Give me that," I say, and you throw the gun towards me, over your head and it lands on the ground in front. I nudge it with my foot so I can see the safety, and it's on which distracts me. You at least know how to switch safety on a gun. I thought you'd never seen one before. Guess you know more than you say. I walk to gun to the edge of the road in my hand and throw it hard away, safety still on.

I turn and sit on the edge of the road that's really a dust-track in a dust bowl, and look at you, like I usually do. You shouldn't know this, and I'm a bit surprised from where this came from. I'm looking at the ground again when you say: "I'm psychic." I look up and across and you're lying there and I'd want a photo.

I don't bother to reply; and you stick his hands behind your head, cross them and stare up bluntly. I pull some grass, crass and dried from beside me and twist it - cliché like I couldn't hope to be - into a circle while you stare at the sky. I throw it at you.

"I do," I say.

"How nice," you say.

I nod. You put it on your finger - the wrong one; not the fourth left - and look at me. I look at your eyes, and you look at me and there's something in my head that just clicks when I look at you, but whatever, and you drag yourself through the dry dirt of the road towards me and I watch you. You finally ends up sprawled, and just about manage to lean your head back into my lap of my crossed legs, and now you're looking up at me, and I'm looking down at you. It's almost pathetically perfect, soft and substantial proof on my legs. I lean down and kiss you, just softly on your lips. "Honey bun," I say, and snigger.

"No more shooting, dickhead," your say and I mostly ignore you on my part.

"Northerner," I tell you, still ignoring you, because you are a northerner, but now you're mine.