Salome Magazine
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LAce Posted Monday, September 18th, 2006
In Bed: The Years
Branigan Grace


He closed the door and turned, took her hand, led her
to bed.

His fingers whispered through silk, touched the secret
of her breast.

When he unwrapped her, she felt like Christmas, all
the years before them like unopened gifts.


She lay with her back to him, making regular
sleep-breathing sounds. She felt his tossing, his
sighs, his eyes on her back, his wanting.

Her mouth was full of saliva; if she swallowed he
would hear and know she was awake. Her body ached with
the effort of holding still, save for slow breaths.
In. out.

Just get up, she thought. Let me alone to stretch,
swallow, cry, sleep, without your hurt, your need,
without having to talk again.

She must have made a sound. She felt his hand reach
out, touch her waist.

She whispered, don't.

He touched her there anyway. His hand cupped around
her empty, aching belly, touching the soft skin
unmoving, un-kicked.

We can try again, he said into her back. I'll never
stop trying.


He rolled over, reached through tangled sheets for his
trousers, dressed blindly in the dark, movements
silent with practiced care: the couch again. He
looked at their shadowed sleeping forms, his
daughter's tangled, dream-soothed head against her
mother's cotton nightgown.

It had been three months. Don't you miss it too? he


She touched his back, nestled into his warmth.

He reached around, circled the comfort of her hips,
touched the silk of her skin, softer now, like her
fine leather purse, worn to perfection. He turned,
feeling her smile in the dark, imagined the lines
fanning her eyes, stroked the unseen silver strands of
her hair. He slipped inside her, half-hard.

She held him tightly, needing more than ever these
bodies that time had stripped to the bare essentials
of living.

It's okay, she said.

Comments [post a comment]

Posted by Marie Shield [ ] on Monday, September 18th, 2006 at 8:30 AM
Wonderfully touching and real. You've captured this couple's lifetime together so very well.

Posted by Donna Levy [ ] on Tuesday, September 19th, 2006 at 7:35 PM
Ah, how well your words captured the language of touch. Thank you. Donna

Posted by Ashley Minihan on Saturday, September 23rd, 2006 at 9:47 AM
This is beautiful. Thank you.

Posted by Suzanne Thompson on Sunday, October 1st, 2006 at 10:12 PM
Branigan, Thanks for sharing this piece of work. I enjoyed reading it. Sharp imagery, smooth transitions, smart insights and reflections, painted in broad pen strokes. Terrific piece!. Suzanne T. P.S. Your name is very interesting and nice to read out loud.

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