Nusette puts her hand on his.
She can’t look him in the eye.
And waits for him to retire.
She contains his shivering.
Something tells her to leave.
And yet she increases the pressure.
Nusette licks her tears from her upper lip.
They were never there.
As her nose rustles and reddens, he twitches.
Their hands moulding into a knot.
Nusette visualises the aged material, the spots.
The texture of death, their relationship.
Her innards going up in flames.
Her memory a spiral staircase leading to a room she dismisses.
Revisited in her nightmares and dreams, when she is happiest.
Why this room? And what is in it?
She can never remember.
Because she is always in it.
Holding his hand.
Whilst he is staring out of the window.
“Pot pourri” by Herbert James Draper (1863-1920)