It was still and dark and cold. She sat beneath the harsh glow of the porch light. She pulled the parka tighter around herself, feeling vulnerable. It was almost Christmas.

Venus was starting to rise in the sky. The morning star was brought by goddess of desire. She felt the stirrings of love, and, she hoped, nothing more. Nothing more inside her.

A smoke before bed. He was in her bed. After making love, she’d written and incantation of the dream she was awake in. Love had come, but would it stay. No one ever stayed.

The hot smoke was harsh in her throat, burned her lungs. That was the sweetness of it. Soon she would sleep, be close to him so he’d give her peace as she dreamed under the sun.

It was almost Christmas. Tired houses in bright lights. The mouthed words of hope as it all burned. God became a helpless child, but it amounted to nothing, as humans were still the same.

At night was the closest one could get to God, if they wrote incantations and poems and dreamed while the bullshit slept. He’d come close, if you dared to open to the whispered voices.

Venus was over the horizon, announcing the day, Lucifer’s domain. Venus and Lucifer. Lust and pride. Lust could at least be a lead ball made into a golden crown. Pride was only death.

She put out her cigarette. The sun was coming. Her man was sleeping. The magic she’d long sought. Touch and affection. What incantations would her stories be with him here now.

Would they be the same when he left like everyone else?

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