Her voice slides off the edge of winter, bringing promise of warmth, holding back just the way I'd expected, season after season. "Belief isn't a crime," she tells me, glancing skyward, ignoring my gaze outlining her profile. "You'll find beauty when it comes," she finishes, and holds that moment.
Beauty, I have found, I don't tell her. Beauty is your hair in the morning, I don't explain. Beauty is the way your lips fit against my neck, I wish I'd said, and how your thighs interlock with mine. She'd smirk if I told her that beauty is your voice drifting into song because it struck your mood, so I don't. Beauty is your fingertips brushing against my palms, I can't say to her, those palms clenched with need. Why wont you accept that?
The question, never answered, and the moment passes for her, as it always does. As it always did. Eyes meeting, neurons firing into some distant eternal shore with a surf that flows by rhythms only she can hear. Her fingers, mine, twisted together, twitching to a pulse that is hers alone, and I may never follow. She says so without a breath, and I pretend to understand.
Understanding, I may never receive, and the comfort of her faith may be something in which I'll never wrap myself. But I believe there was a moment for her, maybe long since gone, in which she heard these words, and felt my hand tighten around hers.
The question never answered, the moment passed. Understanding, I may never receive. "Belief isn't a crime," she had told me, so long ago, and maybe at the bottom of this bottle I'll find the beauty she'd never let me find in her. I believe I will. Belief isn't a crime.