Burn Victim

His fingers lightly trace the scars. It’s the first she’s allowed him to see her naked since the accident,

and he wills his eyes to keep shining, unsure of what he should and shouldn’t see. The eye on the burned side of her face is deeper set than before, and he imagines a supernatural quality to it; that it can see through, somehow, his false assurances—root the fear out of him.

His fingers drape across her flesh, and every now and then she breaths No, lifting her hand for a moment as if to stop him, though it only hovers before settling again. Her skin is more sensitive now, susceptible to the shifting air as to his touch, and quietly he watches her reactions, the way she seems to struggle between terror and ecstasy.

He lowers his mouth suddenly between her ribs and hip, closing his eyes. The skin here is pruned and wrinkled—soft, like she’s just come out of the bath—and moist where his eyelashes have touched.

She gasps a little, and he can sense her hands hovering just above his head, ready to stop him if the shame is too much, and as his lips pause on the crest of her hip he can hear her whisper No one more time, while into her body he mouths Yes.

Nick Kimbro lives in Austin, TX, is a graduate of the Berry College Creative Writing Program, and a fine upstanding gentleman to boot.

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