--EVERYBODY’S GOT A BREAKING POINT
Haiku on Skin
She wants it to be yesterday, last year, the night of their anniversary, with the citrus taste of nectarines dripping from his lips to hers, the night outside their hotel window revealing a shy, gunmetal gray moon, their bare legs roped together loosely. He had been as gentle as she’d guessed he would be, boyish almost in the furtive way his hands roamed her skin, drawing out swaths of goose flesh, making up haikus on the spot, writing the words across her ribs and belly.
The morning after, they were going to try the French place for breakfast but once there he realized he’d forgotten his wallet. Back at their room, he encountered the thief who would scuffle with him, who eventually flung her husband out the window.
Now, she brings in a bowl of nectarine slices, their sweet scent enveloping the room.
He hadn’t remembered anything prior to the fall, not that night, not even that she’s his wife.
Getting into bed, she says, “Scoot over a little. Come closer.”
“Why?” he asks.
She bites off a chunk of nectarine and dabs it across his lips, same as she has done almost every night.
“What are you doing?”
Naked flat-backed on the mattress, she takes his hand and splays his fingers apart.
“Write a haiku on my skin,” she says.
“I can’t write a haiku. I don’t even know what that is.”
His eyes are dull gray dimes, yet she’s not ready to give up.
“It’s easy, just three short lines,” she says.
“This is crazy.”
“Come on. Try,” she says, leading his fingers to flesh. “I’ll help.”