Slow down that moment. Look again.

The rain makes you bow your head and you’re not focused on him but on the shallow incline of the pavement to the road, neon lights opposite reflected in growing puddles, fracturing in to indiscernible splashes of colour as cars speed past. You don’t really register the nervous glance he gives you just before he reaches for your hand and tangles his fingers in yours in one shy, tentative movement.

Slow it down, think back, look again.

The feel of his palm colliding with yours, the look in his eyes as you turn to him and the relief which softens his features when he realises that you’re smiling. The sound of his laugh, short and unhindered. The gap in traffic which causes him to break in to a run across the road with you still gripping his hand like a lifeline, his refusal to let go even as you reach the pavement on the other side and he turns to look at you again.

Slow it down, think back, feel it in your bones. Look again.

Notice the racing of your heart that makes your blood thump in your ears, fast pace echoed in the skipping of your breath. See the soul in his eyes, desperate, wanting, waiting. Watch as he leans closer to you, feel the world around you get duller until all that’s left is the two of you. His lips on yours,

His lips on yours,

His lips on yours.

You were my warmth in the winter. As I stood there with the sky laying snowflakes to rest on my face, I thought of getting home to you, of the soft taste of camomile on your lips as you kissed me. I was no longer falling in love, you see. I was quite comfortably settled there, and had been for some time. And that was the difference, the part I’d never realised. That spark of love, the excitement which seems to drift just out of grasp, it simply evolves, moves forward. It is not lost but rather more content, more settled. It had become a part of me without me ever realising.

The air smelled of early morning sweetness, crisp and somehow optimistic. I always felt like that when I woke before 5AM, when the sun was still out of sight in the lightening sky and I could see my breath hanging in the air in front of me for an instant. The sight hitched a memory to the back of my mind, childhood laughter echoing and the innocent mocking of adults with candy cigarettes.

You know when the city is only just waking up and it actually feels quiet? Trains sliding up to the platforms in a whisper like they’re afraid of waking those still slumbering behind misted windows, the tapping of heels from that one early morning commuter echoing from wall to wall as she hurries past, cars murmuring along open roads without the mid morning roar of traffic to break its stride. It’s so odd to live in a city so large and experience that, so hard to forget that there’s a regular intake of breath as mechanical lungs unfold and start to work again. Like a daily reminder that there is always calm before the storm, the heavy silence of electricity filling the air, thunder rumbling in the distance.

Imagine this; your body is filled with the dark liquid sky. As you sleep, stars bloom in your fingertips and expand to cover every inch of your skin, breaking bread with the sun as it rises from your toes each morning. Storm clouds roll across your pupils, lightning carving momentary tree branches of light through your veins as outside the window the rain mimics the rumbling of thunder in your throat.

You move with the seasons, you see. Flowers carpet your arms in the spring, lending bright colours to the pale pink pallor of your skin. In the summer you shine bright with the hungry, all-consuming fire of the sun, dulling to the glow of embers in the hearth as autumn leaves begin to settle over you like brittle clothing. In the winter, the cold permeates your soft demeanour and though that roaring sun still burns through your core, it relinquishes its hold to the ice forming exquisite patterns on the smooth canvas of your back.

Are you seated comfortably? Listening closely? Is your heart beating faster, is the light in your eyes? Have your pupils dilated? Are you having fun?

Were you late to the station? Did you smoke that last cigarette? Is what you’re saying relevant, what you’re hearing agreeable, what you’re seeing just and fair? Did the poison reach your veins yet? Do you still have long to live?

Did you meet him? Did you fall for her? Did the air around you set alight? Did your bones break, did your eyes dull, did the blood stop coursing through you? Did you tear the world to pieces? Did the ash get in your mouth?

Did it hurt? Did it satisfy? Have you had your fill? Did you hate him? Did he love you? Can you cry? Can you laugh? Does it scare you? Does it make you want to run? Do you feel the need to dance?

Have you ever been in love?