Good Luck Charm

Photo by Greta Unetich

By Greta Unetich

It is the end of December, the time of the year when it is just as dark inside as it is outside. I have a toothbrush that belongs to me sitting on the edge of your sink now, the good luck charm that keeps me clean, that I brought to every house and apartment with me, now here for good. You circle around your room to turn off all the lights, then you get back into bed. When we woke, we saw that new snow had fallen.

Before long, so much time has passed that it is now January, the turn of winter from dark nights to bright, sharp mornings, when I wake up and you’re next to me (8:46am), when I step out of the shower after being outside in the cold (12:35pm), when I drain the water from this morning’s breakfast dishes down the sink (1:09pm). 

A full night’s sleep is nostalgic now. Rare. But I remember when you were all I thought about for years. My gold necklaces dangle between our teeth. 

Be brave, I thought. 

I open my eyes (3:00am, and again, 6:38am). 

The first place I’ll take you in my car is the water, the water your eyes remind me of. I’ll pick you up before the sun sets; that is a promise. I want to order a Polaroid camera, our Polaroid camera, our good luck charm, just for the sake of permanence, something static.

If I am with you, then I am kind. 

In the winter, we took it one day at a time. It’s the spring now, and we take it days at a time; one, two, three nights in a row that you’ve been with me. Is the bed in my room mine or ours when you’ve been in it this long?

Touching you—

Testing the waters with my eyes closed. 

Love is sleeping in each other’s beds, taking each other’s pictures. We’re underneath your covers with the lights still on. I pull the light gray knit blanket up to your chin. You are so close to my vision that your face begins to look like mine. 

Put your head down.

There is room where my neck meets my shoulders. 

We can crack a window in your bathroom after dark, watch the crack of light in the living room first from your hallway, then from your bedroom, see the steam evaporating in the dark in your kitchen. 

It is 4:30 on a weekday afternoon in February, and you should be here. The light is a perfect gold color on the wall behind my desk. The day only ends after I take off my jewelry and you’re sitting on the edge of my bed. It is Valentine’s Day at 7:00 in the morning. Please, anything for a few more seconds on your couch.

It stays light out past five now, but not past six. By the time I get to your apartment, it’s dark. We eat dinner, late, on your living room couch: two white bowls of three-bean chili with cheese, a long slice of bread cut in half, and a shallow bowl of olive oil and parmesan sit on your coffee table. Your apartment smells heavily of sandalwood and oil of bergamot. The incense burning on the table evaporates itself into the air until there is only an egg-shaped shell of ash left on the piece of blue pottery where you lit it. 


Your first insight to me as a sentient being.


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