Forever in a Breath

Timed Exercise: Ten minutes on a theme with Shannon McGill .

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Fingers trail across my skin, leaving chill bumps on my arms. The dress I’m wearing is beginning to yellow at the edges, and it hangs loosely on my skin. Wrinkles stare back from my bathroom mirror, but I see past them for a moment.

These eyes are not my own anymore.

In a few short hours, we will say our vows beneath a summer moon. There will be few witnesses to this procession. Just two beautiful brides in lace and silk, trailing flowers and memories beneath the stars. It will not be unlike the first time in its solitude, but the magnitude of this promise will be immeasurable.

What future can you promise when it is no longer yours to give? What bargaining chips can you offer when time comes for you and steals away your best jewelry, your youthful optimism, and eventually the very breath from the lips of your lover?

I can offer this to you, my love:

A thousand lives beneath all the moons we’ve spent chasing each other’s demons hand-in-hand.

The last crystallized oxygen from my lugs to wear around your neck as you travel to the stars.

A woman as in love with you on the day of our eternal vows as she was the first time she promised you forever.

Forever is a breath. It is a diagnosis. It is a solemn vow.

It is not goodbye.