they told you that after the burning, there would be no songs left to commemorate memory of his embrace. of your hearts melting into fire and sea, of his tongue sweeping over your teeth, of the sudden blood moon looming against the night, sanctifying your rarity.

they said nothing would remain: no fraction of his scent on your skin, no nagging wetness between thighs, no unrest in spirit.

so that night, you let the memories come to you, like sand in your mouth. you let them fill you, like smoke in your lungs. you felt everything again, like ash in your throat, sulfur on open flesh. you let the heaviness wrap itself around your legs, cling to your feet as you walked further into the ruin and rubble, hands clasped in shaky prayer. eyes, a long manic groan. lips arranged in raw bruise of a smile, and you waited for absolution to breathe on you its last breath.

they say that is the night you killed him. they say his lover woke to find his charred body limp around her. they say she tried to kiss him but his eyes were pits so dark, she saw demons breeding in them. they say she screamed so loud her teeth splintered. but darling girl, sweetest wound girl, how were you to know he was there in the ruin too, paying his own price for absolution.