Curl yourself into my neck, my collar and bones and throat. Press your face into the hollow of my shoulder. The war rages outside our closed windows, on the other side of our drawn, tattered curtains. I'll run my fingertips down your spine and into the dips of your back. You are heavy against me, warm, safe. In the corner of my eye, I spy our helmets, smudged with dirt and blood and gun oil, yours piled on top of mine, like the cup of your hand cradling my cheek. A shot goes off in the house opposite ours. There is the sound of splintering wood and ripping fabric. You sigh, eyelashes translucent in the bleached sunlight, a mockery of an age too long ago (forgotten)
I dare not move. I am terrified of this violence, tired of it, but far more fearful of disturbing the dust settling on the knobs of your shoulders, the back of your neck and the endless planes of your olive skin. A quietness has fallen over us, hardly a truce, and the sound, the syllabus of two hands linking in an abandoned hotel room will be too loud. My finger pokes through a tear in your trousers, a frayed hole in the material of your pocket. Past it, I find your thigh; dark with freckles, I imagine. You chuckle and it is a delicious texture of breath on skin. "So that's where all my cigarettes are going," you lean down to kiss me, teasing my lips with the tip of your tongue when I say "I'll mend it for you." It's your way of saying thank you, I know. "You've been stealing mine," I reply instead just to feel you again, your water-vapoured exhale against my nose, your fingertips into mine.