I’m painted in hazy morning light when
You love me.
I nod. Eyes closed.
“Me too,” I say,
But those words stay in my mind,
Kept only for me.
They are not yours to have.
The wall opposite us, with its
Gray whorled patterns
Textured with dust
And age of mornings like this,
Secrets us away from the winter outside.
You’ll soon grab the rifle and hunt,
But I cannot let you leave me.
Your body is warm beneath the blanket.
Mine is cool, and
I move my leg so it runs against yours,
Along the wild contours of hair
Dragging with it your lifeheat.
I shiver and turn away from the window,
Away from today,
To stay in this moment.
“What is it?” you ask.
“A dream,” I say.
I’m running through the streams of the woods,
Ice water soaking my socks
Until I make it back here and
You start a fire in this
Small hovel of your home
And I lay beside you while you
Wipe the water from my toes and
Steal me away from the world.
Brandon Daily is the author of the novel A Murder Country (2014), which was awarded the Silver Medal for the Georgia Author of the Year Award—First Novel in 2015, and The Valley (2016), a 13th Annual Best Book Awards Finalist—Literary Fiction. He has a collection of short fiction that will be published in February 2019. His short fiction, nonfiction, and plays have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, and his one-act play “South of Salvation” was performed and won first prize in the CAST Players One Act Play Festival in 2012. Brandon currently lives in Southern California with his wife and son, where he is a teacher.