Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Temperature

In summer, she loved him because of the way he thrived in the heat, like a weed - his hands built for gripping and his skin for sweating and his lips for smoking, so he could finish every day higher on the mountains than he started. His fingers were cold because of a circulation problem that slowed down his thinking like it was stuck behind a car that was always in a school zone, and she liked the way he touched her ears when he tucked her hair back; in summer, she relished every little shiver.

In winter, he was the one who loved her because winter is a time for precision, and he was a bright kid who just moved a little slower than everyone else, unless, of course, she was dragging him along by the toes that she had such an unusual tendency to crack against the coffee table. In winter, he prayed for heat waves, because he preferred sweating to thawing and because he didn't like seeing the way his breath looked in the cold air and so he loved her because he didn't get heat waves but the palms of her hands were enough to avoid freezing, anyway.