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dark: alone cradled amid the stars of nightís holy tender coldness in air so still i fear the motion of breath. my thoughts are of you, a familiar pattern that does little to warm my bones. i sit in the open windowsill, my feet dangle in the infinite nothing that surrounds my naked flesh. my breath wafts out of my gaping mouth in clouds of vapor like smokerís elixir and travels out into the stillness. i imagine bits of my breath become trapped in the breeze and attach to every bare surface. the thought is frightening to me, that there are pieces of my essence in your pores. you would laugh your wicked laugh if you were with me now instead of unconscious in bed swathed in coverlet warmth. i imagine my breath suffocating you, your eyelids snap open like window shades set free. this thought comforts me; my toes become suffused with warmth. still, it is not enough to grant rest to my weary limbs. i cannot suffocate you with a breath, i canít end you by doing nothing. if it were that simple i would be a restful being and the night would not know of my conscious presence.

against my will, my thoughts fly to the night when you would not cease. the stars which were my allies look on in disgust at your palpable fury. to affect my downfall you have to ruin me throughout, take my lifeblood in your huge hands and laugh at my tears as i beg and plead and negotiate forgiveness for things i have not done. i find i will say anything to make the brutal burning pain end. i will promise you love if only it will stop your insatiable lust. but you will not stop your rhythmic abuse of my body and mind, over and over you crush me and you moan as you enjoy it. but the pain is excruciating and my tears roll down my cheeks and fall clear and cold on my breasts.

enough. i will not dwell on your actions. i calm my thoughts and surrender to the night. what was once still as death becomes animated as i tune my ears to the faint sounds that disturb the purity. the distant roar of cars, the obnoxious chirp of crickets, the noises cut through the heavy night air as knife through butter. i pull a single slender cigarette from my pocket and light it, the flame warm and bright on my face. i inhale the tar into my lungs and hold still for a moment. i imagine the smoke will warm me inside out but it is false, superficial warmth that fades almost immediately after it is inhaled. i release the polluted breath into the cold night air and extinguish the cigarette on the painted wood windowsill. burning embers fly up and sting my finger; the acrid scent of burnt hair and flesh floats up to my nostrils. i pick up my lighter and hold it close in front of my face. i flick it once, twice, the sprightly dancing flame singes my nose and eyebrows but i continue to stare. it moves as if a living being, suddenly jumping closer to alight on my nose. my eyes well with tears and i jolt from the sudden pain. the lighter falls from my hands and lands in the driveway two stories below my swinging bare feet.

i notice that the breeze has picked up, a quiet tender breeze that scrapes its fingers over my skin and makes my spine quake. my goosebump-covered skin hangs loosely on my bones, dead waxy chicken flesh that withers at your touch so no man will prize my womanly hips. for a brief moment i imagine the breezes are your fingers on my body needful of my womanhood to quench the thirst that you cannot hide. i shrink from your touch, your hands transformed to charred stumps in penance for your sins. you are in my dreamworld now and here you are burning, drowning, choking as i loom, a maniacal grin on my tearstained face. if i could transfer my insanity into your mind, you would not rest again. your influence extends beyond one night into a lifetime of mistrustful shifted eyes. shun the male monster and withdraw into sisterhood sweet, soft satin fingertips that do not force. my revenge is internal change, a defense to preserve my sane self mind. in her arms there are no thoughts of you; i have defeated your everlasting impression.

the night begins to break, rays of filtered light fall on the trees and wink coyly on the metal eye of my forgotten lighter. it appears comfortable on the ground; i have grown tired of floating in space. my companion night departing and living beings reenter the consciousness of day.

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