She was a machine.
She was a mirage.
To give the way that she had given was to empty herself — to rub the word vessel in the dictionary until the ink licked her thumb in shadows. To not know that the space in her chest could be filled with beating and blood, to not know those gory bits and bad parts, the sharp pieces that no one could handle.
She wanted to love easy. To wake breathing lilacs and kiss his wrists. She learned to laugh softly, pictured the sound as a white curtain floating on an August breeze. When he looked at her she conjured her cheeks crushed rose — thought the romance lovely. Walked quietly. Never said no. There was an illusion in her stature. A magic in her stare.
The cavern of her mouth echoed back his poetry. She was a well, a wealth of words, a building he rebuilt. And tore down. And rebuilt. She never figured out how to be beautiful, but it wasn’t important. All a girl ever really needed to be was a reflection.
To disappear was easy.
She kept waking up silent in his dreams.