Skyscrapers and Rose Bud Moons

It all started after we lost the Super Bowl.

Drowned out night rain and Liddy unnaturally glued to the technicolor of the hazy television set. She had a beer in her hand and although the bar was overly crowded I could hear the drumming of her thumbs as she tapped them against the glass. Excited, and nervous, her lips pursed up with a fruitful wanting, eager to cheer even though it was becoming clear that we were going to lose.

During the half time show I took to walking the streets. Anxious fingers gripping to the shaft of a cigarette butt. I leaned against a brick wall and watched it burn (slowly like dripping honey). Hair tips soggy from the rain. Hands buried in the pockets of my trench coat, I didn't want to go back in but I could sense that Liddy was wondering.

Torn up track marks - we lost and Liddy burst into tears. The eyelash lining of her waterproof mascara flawless despite the bulbous tears that fell. I held her hand on the way home and cat-like she curled into the lining of my trench coat. We walked in the rain for what seemed like hours. Submarine kitty cornered across the back alleys - we were invisible flashes to the passersby; bullets in the corners of their eyes.

At midnight I had another cigarette and watched her as she mirrored the game. Throwing invisible spheres from her cupped hands and turning the motions into a dance. She had been mesmerized earlier by the quarterback blue eyes. I didn't have the heart to tell her yet that the cash I had bet and lost would have been next months rent money. The city streets were slick and velvety - graphite and graffiti precociouslystretching up to skyscrapers and rose bud moons. The later it got the greater was our fear to go home.

When I held her hand she felt empty, completely contained inside the ten fingers of our combined hands (shell like star husks).

We started following the music - so loud that it blurred the air (chrome neon). So thick that we could taste it. The beat of it was hard, like bones forming in our bodies and Liddy lead me to it. She always had a strange sense about these things. A pull and a trigger. The louder the noise the more persistent her whisper: come on - I couldn't let go of her.

When we got to the doorstep she kissed me - watermelon spice - the party breathed like an animal; alive and hungry and Liddy blended in like she had been a part of it all along. She danced barefoot on the hardwood with boys half her age. She loved it, I could tell - seventeen again and weightless - she was floating and I wanted that for her. I don't dance, and I can't blend into a crowd like this easily, everyone was busy with her anyway; I sat in the shadows and remained unnoticed.

Later when she was out of breath and exhausted she found me again. She smelled like smoke and men and when she kissed my cheek I got a waft of drugs. I could feel it when she touched me, pulsating across her hand - acid swimming underneath her skin - her taste was more bitter now. Stark and cold; she always whispered at night. Too quiet for me to hear but her words took shape behind my eyes - upstairs -

I was vibrating to some inner echo and I followed her. Her shoes were on again but they made no noise - the folds of my trench coat slurred - a hissing language to all but us. Instincts prickled across flesh like a lining of thorns - I could feel hers long before I tasted my own. She clung to me underneath archways. I locked the door and she was nude underneath me. The taste of it thick on us. Filled up, and overflowed, I could see my edges blurring into hers. Baby soft hips in my hands. I was hungry for it. When I eased her onto her belly she gripped the pillowcase. White knuckles. Covered her hand over her mouth to keep quiet but she could never hold it all in.

Afterward I fell asleep, cold and black dreams that kept me quiet and easy beneath the sheets. When I woke up she was sitting on the corner of the bed, cross-legged and wearing my trench coat. She had one of my cigarettes in her hand and she puffed at it slowly. Marilyn Monroe fingertips. Her skin had always been clear, not a single freckle or blemish on it though I had searched in vain to find them.

The sun was coming up through the window in front of her. Light blue streaks that changed into purple and red, crashing into and against a black sky. The stars just starting to flicker out; invisible behind the curtain of color. She turned from it for only a moment to hand me the rest of the drag. I took it between my fingers and inhaled its leathery smell, strong and smooth down my throat like hot water.

- We should go - I dressed but she kept the trench coat on leaving her clothes in slapdash piles across the room. - I don't wont them - she said - they're bad luck. - We went through the window. Her naked pink toenails tip toeing across the tacks on the shingled roof. The tint of the world this early was paintbrush thin and transparent and I gulped at it like a drug. We walked until it was amber bright. Confetti and streamers wet and sticky in the crosswalks from last nights expected victory. The soles of her feet turned black but she skipped across the concrete like she didn't care.

- Home? - I asked.

- Why bother? We're just ganna get evicted next month anyway! -