5. Titan Southern Polar Ice Cloud

Scientists found another cloud on Titan; a monster in the active weather. They’re talking about the rich, gaseous filling between the void and substance. They’re talking about body.

Your skin was always so clear, save for that red line on the back of your hand. The blue ring around the planet that provides definition against nothingness. The empty fireplace, full of wood.

I stuck my hands under the tap—the cold one. I was trying to coerce feeling back into them. I made fists, but nothing worked until the water warmed up, turning them raw.

I swept the ashes out of the grate. You were lying on the sofa, barefoot and wanting for something neither of us had a name for. When I touched your heel, it felt like cold water. There was a moth flying around, touching our lights, so I took it by the wings and let it outside. You wanted to crush it; you never did like animals.

Braiding blades of grass, stringing the daisies along. You wrap it around my finger, add me to the chain. I’m not sure I mind. I don’t think I do.

What days are you freest in the evenings? I’d imagine it would be when it’s clear out, and warm enough to sit outside. That’s always when you’re here. Where do you go when you’re not around? Nevermind. It’s none of my business.

So, what happens now? We see other people. It can’t be helped; that’s just how we are. You were lying on the sofa, barefoot, with your legs over mine. I don’t think about what happens when they’re not. I just don’t. And you never ask and I never say yes. I never say that within all this laundry I did for you, there are things that aren’t yours mixed in.

One day you came in from the rain. I opened the door and let you in. You were lying on the sofa, barefoot and smoking right down to the filter. I put your clothes in the dryer, tossed the whole pile on you when it was done. You laughed. Your toes curled. I thought you would throw it off once it got cold, but you kept laying there under it all, arm extended as the lit ember kept on going. You never burn your fingers; you always get away with being just dangerous enough.

Titan is a moon. Had I told you that? It orbits around a larger body, apart from the rings of Saturn. Apart from us, it is the only one to have a stable body of water. It is an egg yolk turning around against the black velvet vacuous nothing. In certain light, it looks like us. Its clouds look like ours. The soil there is rendered uninhabitable. We’ll never call it ours, as much as we’d like to.

When they talk of the monster cloud, they’re talking about substance. They’re talking about body. You always had a little of each, and I was always in the middle.

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