anatomy 101

One time I tried to make a list of the prettiest words in the English language, but I got stuck on “cheekbones.” What’s prettier than yours? And then I thought about all of your bones, really – how if, after you died, they set up your skeleton in some Princeton classroom and let the brilliant students there touch you in all the places I could never quite reach, I would find some way to come back in another life and get myself there, examining your spine, letting the oils from my fingers paint you in trembling grey-blues and hypnotic teal-greens, or maybe switching out your fibula for mine or stealing away your lunate. That was how I wanted to know you, that was what I meant when I told you that you would always be beautiful inside and out. That’s why I couldn’t understand when you acted like the entire world wasn’t right there at your fingertips; the world was in your fingertips, the rushing waterfall was in your eyes and the cool grass was embedded in your soles and for as much as I loved you, I wanted to be that much a part of you. I needed you to breathe me in, even when it tickled my neck to have your lips so barely there against my skin. I needed so much, and I can look back now and say that it was awful, it consumed me, it took things from me that I could never get back, not in a million Wuthering Heights generations, not in a thousand Ivy League anatomy classes, and God, never in words, but I was in love with you, and it wasn’t pretty.

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