Minty Bonnard

You had to go. You couldn’t stay. I don’t know why.
You held me close and, as the morning light chewed its way through our dark red drapes, you pulled me closer still. Your heart quickened and then suddenly, your long warm body slipped away from me. As you went, your hand slid slowly along the length of my outstretched arm, over the inside of my upturned forearm. Your fingers rested momentarily at my wrist, long enough for me to kiss their tips with my pulse, and then… I felt the stinging sensation of your absence!

The ice cold air was sucked into our bed and it cut me like a knife.

I rolled over and lay inside the hollow shape of you that was left behind. I nursed my wound with your warmth and as I pressed my face into your pillow I wanted to hear you whisper my name.
You were in the shower and then I heard you brushing your teeth. I hated you for leaving me and for washing me from you.

I lay inside your hollow shape and lifted my head to see if you were there. You were not, but the creases and folds of the pillow case smiled at me and I kissed your white linen lips.

As I did, I felt your breath on the back of my neck. My mind had not yet let go of the ‘you’ that was beneath me, and so there I was, pressed between you and yourself. The two of you.

Your not completely dry body struggled to slide into bed next to me. The beads of water on your skin seemed to snag on the sheets and slow you. Your brow furrowed like a child’s when frustrated with trying to glide down a playground slide after the rain has fallen. I pulled you in and you whispered that you couldn’t stay, that you had to go. Your black wet hair fell against my neck and I turned away from your linen lips to your red, hot mouth. My lips tingled with the menthol and you wouldn’t stop.
You did go, eventually, and when my white linen lover started to cool beneath me I dressed.

Hinchcliffe & Hodgson June 2007
After Pierre Bonnard’s Girl on a bed 1899.