GIFT - eliza smith

I wake to his words. It’s still dark. I look over at his sleeping body and find that his lips aren’t moving.

Shh, I hear him say. Shh. Shh. Shh.

The next morning I steep coffee. He shuffles into the kitchen and slumps at the table.

Sugar, he says. Sugar. Sugar. Sugar.

I glance, and his mouth is still. I grab three cubes from the pot above the stove and put them in his open palms.

He looks at me, one brow lifted. How? He asks. I shrug.
We are touching. My hand strays to his back, to the crook of his spine, then to his shoulder, then to his chest.

Back to my back, he says without talking.

I move my hand there.

Stay. He says. Stay. Stay. Stay.

I stay.

How? He breathes into my neck.

But I don’t want to talk about it, at least not with my mouth; we neither of us should risk this gift.

Eliza Smith
Karen Tidbek