Saturday 24 June 2023

'Lose My Breath' by Nicole Hart

It’s this night I’ll remember, the one in December 2004, when Eliza and I are at a college bar in downtown Milwaukee, and Lose My Breath blasts through the speakers, and we’re wearing our going out clothes because we need a distraction from Kay’s illness, from the realization that anything can end, so we dance so close our shoulders keep kissing, our hips keep grazing, and we’re not looking at each other like we usually would do while dancing at a bar like this, to a song like this, when usually we would lock eyes and fake-purse our lips and Eliza would twirl her arm and whip the imaginary lasso, then release it towards me and I’d shimmy back to her across the dance floor, but we’d make no contact, and it would just be the regular girls-night-out debauchery and Kay would join in and bust out the Running Man once she’s drunk enough, which would send Eliza and me rolling, but on this night, it’s just the two of us in this snowy city, and our gazes stick to the slick floor, and our backs are touching and we raise our arms, crucified together, and my boyfriend is watching from across the room, and he winks at me like he thinks it’s all for him, and I turn so I’m pressed behind Eliza and our arms rise in unison again, my palms cradle the front of her hands and years later when I’ve moved far away from the cold and I’ve had three kids and commute to an office job each morning cradling a mug of steaming coffee, and Eliza has disappeared to the mountains to mourn Kay, I will still see our four hands tangled, glowing against the white backdrop of the bar window.

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