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She’s always been here. Watching with me. Her mother is the goddess of memory. She’s my twin, my parrot, my parasite. She looks out of my eyes and sees the world tinted in shades of grey. She makes my mouth move. Truth, lies, present, past, it doesn’t matter when it’s her voice, they mean the same thing. She wants more than she could possibly need. Sometimes she doesn’t want anything. Sometimes she makes my hands fly over the keyboard, race with the pen and her voice courses through my veins. There’s nothing better when our hearts beat this way. We run and forget about the flesh, and just like that it’s gone, it falls away and leaves our dancing skeletons. Finally we can breathe. She’d like it, just us together like that, if she didn’t need you so much to read.  She keeps you at arms length, it’s so much easier to see. The details in his slow shuffle. The pain behind her quick speech. Then she leaves. She disappears without warning and I wander around cupping my elbows, trying to keep the panic out of my voice. I put pieces of clothing back on, roughly, suddenly embarrassed at my skin. I’ve got eczema on my hands and I scratch until it bleeds. I call until my echo bounces against me. I sit quietly and hope she’ll realise her mistake in leaving. My fingertips miss her. I write pages alone and try to keep the rage beneath. I keep trying until I crack. Then she’s back. She slips back so quietly, caressing the words as if she never left. At night I curl up in bed and think about things that will keep away the bad dreams. It’s okay, she says, you need them just like you need me.

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