Your breathing,
soft against my chest,
stops me cold
and the words are dead in my throat.
The pounding of my heart
is like tribal drums beneath you,
arms wrapped so tightly
I can barely breathe.
You are fire in my arms
as I finally grasp the reality
of your exhale.
I am helpless if not hopeless here.
How could I not be?
There is no fire escape,
no iron ladders to the ground,
no emergency exit.
So I watch you sleep,
peaceful against my skin,
and wonder if there’s any wall
I wouldn’t turn to cinders
if it meant I’d still be holding you
by morning.


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