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I wish I knew how to describe her to you. I could tell you her name, but I could never make you understand the way that she said it. I could tell you how she looked, or how she moved when I held her, or how she laughed or how she cried or how she fucked.  

But I don't know how. I can't begin to tell you how she made me want her, made me need her. I've never been partial to anything more potent than cigarettes, so I can't even compare her to an addiction. But when I was younger, I heard a sermon that characterized her well.

In the Arctic, when the long nights come and the cold settles into the land, the wolves begin to prowl through the ice, senses sharpened by the cold and dark. And anything that moves on that ice, is their prey. But the Eskimos know how to combat the wolves, how to take advantage of their hunger during the long night. They sharpen the double edge of their knives to a razor's width, and melt a patch into the ice. Placing the handle of the knife into the puddle, the ice refreezes, leaving only the blade of the knife jutting out of the ground. The hunter then pricks his hand, and carefully smears his blood onto the blade of the knife. And once a wolf follows the scent back to the knife, it begins to lap at the frozen blood, slowly at first, and then more quickly, as the warmth of his tongue thaws the icy gore and it begins to stream down the blade. As the wolf's mouth grows numb from the cold, the knife begins to cut into its tongue, slicing it open and spilling more blood onto the blade. It cannot feel the edge of the knife, and the copper taste of its own blood keeps the wolf licking at the knife even as the knife tears apart its mouth.  The hunter will find it dead in the morning, its tongue a shredded pink ribbon with its bright blood spattered on the ice and on its fur.

Does the wolf know? Does he care? After six months of winter and starvation, is bleeding out on the tundra too high a price for a final orgy of self-consumption? I wish I knew. When I met her, I was freezing and empty, and she filled me up. If not for the intervention of outside forces, I would have been happy to sit with her for the rest of my days, lapping at my own blood.

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