By Jessica Clark
It shoots through my veins as though replacing my blood, makes it difficult to stand under my own power. Cool on my lips, hot to the taste, sweet but with a cutting edge of black bitterness.
And it makes me remember you, standing on the edge of the street as though it were a pier, toes curled over the edge, watching my path leave a wake in the black pavement. Your face was drawn tight, as though being bombarded with the sting of cold salt air. The last I saw before I turned back was you licking your lips, to swipe the salt (or was it the taste of me?) away, or perhaps to remember it.
There is a part of me that still sees the chance to leap back, to swim that ocean of asphalt and have you pull me out as my rescuer, but this ship sails on, the wind is in her sails.
So standing at the prow, I hold this cup of coffee close enough to breathe the steam, retain a sip to linger on my tongue, and I pretend that I remember your taste.