we go down to the river to shed. at night, this sloughing of skin, this shared release. a secret we pass to each other like a lit match.
in the summer, the river spiders weave their nursery webs and eat their lovers. sometimes they come near, named for the gloom, each of their eight eyes trained on our undoing.
we run our arms against rocks, against each other, almost intimate.
we loosen our skin at the elbow, a grievous unbuttoning.
we unravel, removing our skins like long gloves, finger by finger.
our skins trail in the snow like pale ribbons, rotten lengths of lace hurriedly left behind.
you kiss me and your lip slips between my teeth,
coils on my tongue,
dissolves like smoke.
* collaborative photos by artists Crystal Lee Lucas & Dylan Garrett Smith.*