Brute force

Tell me you love me.

For the first time in weeks, she has woken up happy. I can tell from the lines her limbs make against the covers. Curved, not angular. Relaxed, like she wants to welcome the world back in.

You’re a brute.

I’m pressing against her hand, against the ball of her thumb. I’m pressing against the place where a tenderness has temporarily taken up residence. I press lightly at first, but gradually increase the pressure. Because I can. Because I must.

Tell me what you’re thinking.

There’s a glint between her lashes, like the thin skein of a river glimpsed in the distance. It’s a hint of something deeper. A smile perhaps, an instance of happiness. Her mouth gives nothing away. I’m pressing on her thumb and watching her face.

Tell me anything.

She turns away from me and stretches. Lying on her back, one arm stretched out, the arch of her body forces the swell of her breasts, the skinniness of her ribs, against the fabric of her nightdress. She pins her own shoulders to the bed, gently erotic.

I’m a brute, and I love her, but the words will not come.

Tell me nothing, then.