It was the way she closed her eyes as she took in the first lungful of nicotine. A slow drop of her lids, like the vertical close of the living room blinds.

It was the liquid throb of her heartbeat, subdividing our melody.

It was shade in the winter; cooling the freezing, doing no good.

We were a space heater in the summer.

Yet

it was the way she wet her red, chapped lips before our collision, like two celestial bodies brightly, beautifully dying.

the way I could feel our electric currents

her hair tracing designs on my closed eyes, defending themselves

her smile.

And then

her hair in the reaching rays of the sun nearing the horizon

her back turned, black shoes against the grey concrete

the last sensation of my fingers losing grip on the soft skin of her wrist

and then

her fingertips leaving mine

her frown

and dry eyes

and, "I can't be this."

And now

I

can't

be

this.