It's still dark outside, too cold to have coffee on the porch or take a walk around the lake, but if you come over, I'll keep my hands to myself. Really. I just want to show you the new watercolors and my latest oils: a scented jacaranda dripping over the cedar fence in the yard, leaking onto the sidewalk. The white brick wall splattered with poinsettias, like the aftermath of a shotgun. The rippled lake washed in gold. I have tried to tell a story, to make a record of things. Many things have happened since you left here, most of them disconcerting. A man in my office put his hand on my thigh, so he could try to know me better. I left early that day for a doctor's appointment. My test results came in, though I already knew I have anemia and amenorrhea and a small heart murmur. I had a lot to think about on my way home; I hardly noticed the man on the sidewalk until he whistled at me long and low, so I would know he was hungry. Never mind. But hey, come over. Winter has already polished off October and I need another pair of hands on my rib cage. I can hardly tell anymore if I am sketching your face or just imagining you on the front of the cereal box. This morning we could do something together. We could act out a scene where we fry the eggs and bake the sourdough ourselves. Where we open a book and flip through the pages. Where your hand rests on my shaky kneecap. We could rewrite the scene where we let the toast turn black. And I let you see the cities glowing in the center of me. It's impossible, you know, to feel calm in a city. Without the sound of birdsong. That why every love song begins like that: with a sweet piano, so two cursory people can pause to kiss in a doorframe. Composed for just that moment. That's never what I wanted with you. I wanted to be the doorway, the trapdoor that you would fall through. The pair of hands to open you like a moonflower. To whisper inside of you like an echo begging you: ruin me, ruin me, ruin me.