He went to sleep earlier tonight than usual. The sinking of the mattress struck me as strange, as though the bed compressed more than it used to. The space shared between our legs under the sheets was cold, empty, alien. I pressed myself into the ridge of his back, but there was no solace between the slopes of his shoulders. There was no content in the knobs of his spine that dug into my skin like nails in a wall as I tried to hang unto him. If I pressed any deeper, I’d disappear, seep silently into his skin until there was no trace of me, but my abandoned indent in the bed. When we first meet, he promised to build me a garden. Promised me roses and sunflowers and a willow tree, they grow and grow and grow, a willow tree to watch over us. I never got the garden or the roses the color of a baby’s cheek. Or sunflowers that grow tall, facing the sun, searching for its heat, I felt our love grow frigid beneath the sheets. I watched the outline of his body- illuminated by the pale, blue moonlight through the window- as he breathed deeply in sleep. When we first shared the same bed, those breaths soothed me like a lullaby or the oceans waves. Now it sounds like salt water gurgled between teeth. He seemed a league away. I imagined the bed rocking beneath us as though we were a ship lost at sea, left to the mercy of the winds. But there was no water, no sunlight, no willow out my window like he promised. I turned away from him, feeling the release of skin as my body separated from his, floating away. He promised.
Dannielle Pendzich is a poet and playwright from Pittsburgh, PA with an MFA in Screenwriting and Playwriting.