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  • Stella B James

Only the Moon Sees

Only the Moon Sees

by Stella B. James

‘I see the moon, and the moon sees me.’

Her voice carries on the night breeze as it winds its way through the tall reeds, loosening soft petals from their bud to swirl above, higher and higher still. And Esme twirls with them, her sheer night dress ghostly pale, a beacon in the night. It calls to Edmund, and he finds her this way.

He trips along the path, the mosquitoes taking their communion from his flesh. He barely notices the pinch, the itch, as he stumbles towards her. She is like the fabled fountain of youth, keeping him able. She shows no signs of stopping, and he longs to defy physics with her for another night.

Her hair is longer than last time, and full of natural things; leaves and twigs and pink petals and moth dust and moonbeam magic. She smells of wet earth and fresh mowed grass, with a hint of honeysuckle, and he runs his tongue over his teeth, longing for a taste.

Esme doesn’t notice him. She stretches her arms above her, swaying them in such a hypnotic manner that you would think she were underwater. Her hair flows up and over, under and through. Her eyes stay on the moon, and the moon stays on her, and they become one and the same. Edmund finds himself back in his 5 year old conscience, believing in fairies and monsters all over again. Esme is both sometimes, and he longs to break her and put her back together the way he sees fit.

‘I see the moon, and the moon sees me.’

It sees us, he almost calls out. To correct her. To feel included. To no longer feel an outsider, a voyeur, a mere pawn. They aren’t an us, they are a them who belong to others. The Dorian Gray painting hidden in the darkened corners.

The full moon belongs to them, or maybe they belong to it, and Edmund isn’t sure if anyone really belongs to anybody else. Tonight, he is a slave to the light, to the pale black blue grass that matches her lust filled eyes when she finally turns to acknowledge him.

Her nightgown slips off her shoulders, and she lies in the grass, opening like a tulip blooms in spring. She digs her fingers through the dirt, as if to plant herself, and Edmund longs to pluck her and place her in a vase. To keep her on his windowsill and bury his nose in her, soaking in her essence and mystery.

‘I see the moon, and the moon sees me.’

He sees her too, though she doesn’t care. She likes to be watched, likes to perform, likes the fleeting thrill of adoration. A forgotten Homecoming queen, domesticated and bored, but never boring. Edmund can’t find an average thing about her.

She finally whispers his name, his permission to come closer. Her hair spreads out like serpents fleeing the light, her soft curves a roadmap for his hands, and for a moment, he believes he’ll turn to stone if he looks too long. He’d gladly turn a statue for these meetings with her. A standing monument, cursed the moment he took a midnight stroll all those months ago. As Adam fell by apple, Edmund fell by moon dance. Man was destined to fall.

‘The moon sees somebody I want to see.’

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