Keep Art Alive :: “Pleasure & Pain” :: Art by Joe Chiodo
all things we love will die.
if you can change your life.”
They all had warned her, saying that girls like me carry deadly weapons and leave nothing but blood and wreckage in my wake. She only half-believed them, interrogating me like a prisoner of war, bright lights in my eyes, warm breath close to my skin, trying to find the right way to break me. Or, maybe she did not want to break me at all, but just crash hard enough to get inside.
I let her have a way in. Cracks in the corners, vulnerable bits that echoed the girl I was at 23, the girl I was miles and miles from now. I stashed my gun, my mis-direction, and the label that was affixed, without my consent, to my heart. She saw hope in my eyes, and I saw redemption in hers. But, fallen angels never get redeemed.
The calls came in from the authorities demanding my return. She looked at me in that way I will never forget, wounded and wanting. My wings had started to grow back, through our moments huddled under covers in her upstairs apartment I had started to heal, had started to become divine again. She was some kind of magic, but I was still an assassin, a thief in the night, a contracted killer with no escape clause.
Maybe I should have stayed anyway.