It’s dark, and moonlight drapes lethargically from opaque and starless skies. Corbin comes. She calls, like always, just behind the last remaining tic of night. She moved through hours like they’re some viscous liquid, drags her feet behind her on collapsing pavement striped with cracks where tree roots drive it upward. I’ve never quite been sure of it, but I think I hear her toe-shoed feet in double-taps across the pavement floors and floors below, blocks and blocks away erasing all the time between us like a late September evening.

This time I couldn’t watch Corbin walking through the lights along the bleeding edges when she comes close enough to see. I felt her like a feather-touch, the flutter of a wing behind my ear beating with increasing heat, concrete slates struck beneath her like piano keys making silent melodies of midnight. But I know what she’s coming for, the poisened thirst she needed me to slake.

I stand and wait between the building where I live and the one across the alley where at night the window glass reflects a view of my apartment so I cut the lights and close the blinds most evenings. Corbin comes around the corner and her skin is lit in glints from televisions numbly droning in the lower flats. She smiled and when she does a shudder rolls across me like a tide, slowly. Cold and dusky.

She takes the bag I hand her and I put her money in my pocket without counting. I knew it was all there. I always know that even if she shorts me I won’t mind.

Corbin walks away, blends into the slander of a night without a shadow. I heard her steps again, clock-tics on the concrete piercing like the stings that feed and starve us both.

#paris #france #louvre

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