2:03 AM Sunday

Grief interrupts my sleep with her whispers of wake. I pull the sheets back as she trails her body next to me, laying her heavy chest atop mine. Her face nestles in a mangled mess of my air dried hair and the summer humidity glazing cheekbones. "I do not want to sleep", she tells me defiantly. Her voice feels like a familiar echo of my own. Her vulnerability covered by stubborn arrogance. I tell her, "I am here" as I lay with her, feeling my eyes swell red with tiredness, but here. The ceiling fan broke in early June and the summers in the city are unbearable. She doesn't move from where she once settled, the heat of my body giving her comfort. I, in my skin, a blanket wrapped between my naked thighs, listen to the sound of her breathing slow into sleep. As the weight of Grief relaxes in her rest, the heaviness of the things she carried burden my lungs and leaves me wanting to follow her into sleep.