A gentle tipped fingernail runs smoothly along my spine, stirring me from peaceful sleep. A chaotic building of repetitive taps as I refuse; a gentle rise and fall along smooth overworked muscles as I comply. A day begins again with savory pains as a black lacquered nail drives me from bed. The golden targe of Apollo rises over the pane; hope in a prosperous day is rekindled even as pure rays meet with strands of umbral infinity. Her head is thrown back, overwhelming the unprepared mind with thick aromas wrung from the memories of summer wildflower fields and the glow of honey flavored straw.

A smile that wraps around the eyes with light shows for the briefest second, and is replaced with the instinctive grimace of fear. Honey scent fades in a moment of insanity that overwhelms all truth and joy. Ash falls over her eyes, once rivers where sustenance roamed, now a blistered abyss where not even archangels venture. Bald, burned flesh festers under quilt thick bandages long after all healing has concluded. She stalks solitude like a frightened mouse, waiting for her flesh to be as whole and innocent as she was before revealing herself again to the world. Tracing contouring scar tissue with a delicate ivory pinkie, she refuses to believe the words of her laboring fool, “I will always love you… always.”