Thin Blue Line
As he leaves for work, Dan looks back at her nude body in the mirror. The half light falls through the translucent curtains and casts a square against the back wall. Her face is turned away from him and her hair is a dark fan on the white pillow. He can only see her back, but he knows that her left breast is resting on the mattress and her right breast is falling towards her heart. With his eyes he climbs the arc of her back, pausing to rest on the rise of her body that curves down and disappears too soon under the rumpled sheets.
It’s late spring in Miami. The air is starting to boil, the people of the city with it. For most, the day starts slowly on Sundays, which makes the commute that much easier for those, like Dan, without the luxury of sleeping in.
The day shift means he gets to start his day with the sunrise and her sleeping body, before he has to deal with the everyday crap. The traffic stops, the people who don’t feel safe in their homes, the children who deserve better parents.
He doesn’t tell her about work when she asks. He doesn’t like to dwell. But sometimes he will mention that a week ago he watched a man take his last breath. And, as she listens, she thinks about how that was the night he kissed her a little harder than usual.
The rising sun warms the room and the A/C clicks on. The cooled air catches on her skin and she shivers, her body hardening. She pulls the sheets over herself and he closes the door behind him, not wanting to disturb her.
About the author:
M.J. Arlett is an MFA candidate at Florida International University. She was born in the UK, spent several years in Spain and now lives in Miami. Her work can be found in Portland Review, The New Luciad, the Eccentric Press Poetry Anthology, and an upcoming edition of The Fem.