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I had a dream once, back before I realized I couldn't cure you. Back when I thought I could patch back together the fragments that were your soul, and that I could do it without your help. Out there in the height of our rapture, when we were lost in ourselves and sinking ever closer to the heart of the other, I saw you standing before a field of stars, your body in silhouette with arms outstretched. I saw your face lit yellow against the purple ink of night. The stars all seemed to hover. Your brightness alone was the source that kept them aloft.

I saw you, a slight little boy with only the weight of a whisper. Amidst the signs that gravity was beginning to pull it down, I dreamed the sky could crush you, so as I watched, it did. Its hands began to close around the leaf that was your body.

You fell.

Under clean white sheets laid down in a deep and solitary room, you fell. Your fears that were like the night sky falling began to devour you in earnest. You grew slighter still. Day and night fell in endless repetition across a lonely room, miles away from the world where we said goodbye. The heat of the dawn held your chest in a sweat, the dream of the world collapsing still wet on your lips. You waned like the moon, day after day until the month reached its end and real night had to fall. You slipped away in sheets of lilting skin, and the bones sank down into the quiet, melting off like powder. You slipped away until you had no mass at all, and all that remained was one little tear, rolling down on the shadow of what had been your face. Clean white sheets collapsed without your frame to hold them, and I was free to cry at last.

I wonder sometimes why I stayed as long as I did when death had already laid its hands on our love. It wasn't the stars. It wasn't your sickness, that sickness of soul that sapped the life from my bones. It wasn't the way you hated you, and sometimes how that made me hate me. Maybe it was the image of your face laid yellow on night, and the fear of you seeping out into the sky, dissipating into the hearts of stars.

Little boy who waned with the moon, I never knew how strong you were. Or that your hate would never forgive me.

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