It was my first spontaneous erection in a while. I had been following her for a long time before I turned to see her coming up behind me. I watched the long early-morning shadow of her bike creeping up the sidewalk, getting closer all the time. She stopped alongside me and, putting one leg on the ground, offered an embrace the way she always did. She was wearing shorts and the flesh of her leg against mine was too much.
It only happens in dreams. The wings sprouting on my back are as natural as my arms. The smile, isolated from the other features of her face, swallowed what was left of my heart. The pain fluctuates between sharp and dull, stabbing and throbbing. The only medicine is the smile and the pat on the shoulder that warms my chattering bones.
Evaporation transforms energy from one element to another and sometimes leaves a residue. Tiny vibrations linger like the last clang of the church bell. The tide recedes, leaving all kinds of things lying naked on the beach. Cool air infiltrates the hairs on our arms and legs.
A friend asked how I was doing but I wasn’t sure which me he was asking about so I answered, “I can’t complain.” My life had been good. How long could something like that to last?