Blanche Heriot (out after curfew)

fix your mind on his face, every detail as it were the day before. his hair uncombed; his parched, chapped lips pretend this kiss of cold brass between your thighs is his as your fingers close the clasp of your hands about the clapper’s bearing, like they might have had you flung your arms about his neck. greet him. draw him down into the smother of your breasts and stifle his groan with your own body. tonight the curfew bell makes no sound for he dangles on its rope, swings with the arms of the ringer, who now ascends the stairs, by the tap of footsteps on the wood, to ring you up. he flings you forward first, then back. you grasp him tight, obey the rhythm until the third stroke brings collision between flesh and metal, its singing turned a dull and heavy smack that cannot carry. it is coming, though you do not hear the clash of hooves against the cobbles of the town; all else distant, forgotten, but the ache of breaking bones, your inward bleeding, and the thought of your love spilling down from the belfry, washing over him with a noiseless cry. your voice echoes out in heavenly baritone is he saved? is he saved? is he saved?

Amy Kinsman