They really have no clue. Their gold bliss I could annihilate, in one night, leaving a hollow so round and true that there would be no completion ever again — in their accomplishment, a sustained sense of purpose; a rue on the back of their skull, where it rises, round, until the end of their days. And maybe that’s why I love them — every passerby, frolicking in stupidity. Because even shallows become beautiful undisturbed. This one in particular, slight in the knee, off-balance, susceptible, in this moment, to a particular wind, which is oft summoned in spare sessions of focus under full dusk; the only separation between hell and purgatory is a whim held mute by repetition. Hapless little bird. Ingratiate myself, I could, perhaps, by a chance meeting, as they do in Hollywood flicks, cute and faux, a sweaty strand tucked behind her ear, shyly golden-brown, betraying a sudden desire for composure in the moving rush of film, because here could be, she naively lingered upon this beautiful second, the one — for me, for her, for us. And she could think this, hope in it, and believe in it, for some time, without ever gaining a whisper of that initial hatred — which, as it turns out, isn’t so different from love, because how different could they be when looking at the facts of attentiveness? And I could shield her, endure those self-willed wounds that never came to be, and that could be us — Cybereus and his longing fulfilled, a terror subdued in only one direction: hers. A life together, with his restraint, and she, having missed the scent, would never have known — and if she did, perhaps would never have remained.

-Vanya

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