Once you were that breathless beauty, radiant from some blinding fire deep below your skin. Once you were the Queen of Constellations, connecting all the dots. The sun rose just to see you, and the night held its breath the moment you were near. I see your brilliant smile in the moonlight dancing on the ocean. I feel you near me in dreams too close to real, hope all grown up and walking out among us. As if there weren't all those mountains and oceans and cities strewn between us. As if the wheel of time hadn't turned over and over again.
I'll never know why you chose me. I'll never know what you saw through those laughing eyes. But I wanted you the moment that I first saw you. I loved you as you burned me down to grease and ash. Those fleeting days and the spread wings of every night, the plot of discovery and betrayal playing out in blood and breath, the horror story haunting you nailed into my bones. A kiss returned at the door to the ocean, the spray of salt and that reaching heat, our flesh so warm beneath the cold count of so many stars.
It might as well be a bedtime story. It might as well start with a once upon a time. All these years and loves come and gone. The distance that begins at your window and runs to my door. The distance that starts at your difference and ends at my plodding heart. The bad boy I played at then worn into something I never thought I'd be. The good girl I fell for carrying more than her share of ache and lack. Our shared story dead and buried, only one of us ever knowing how it ends. Only one of us knowing what it was we lost.