The Morning Will Allow

Cristina is asleep on the wrong side of the bed. The rain falls like lights or echoes. In the morning she will wonder if she dreamt at all, will make breakfast for Richard then wait for him to come home again at lunchtime. She was surprised at how eager and conciliatory the school had seemed, happy to accept him back, almost apologetic for his leaving. “Schooh,” he says, and “Itahien.” She will wait at home for him. Evian is too busy, too filled with potential. The tourists are returning, with strange, tourist voices.

She is on top of the covers in her bathrobe. The sheets have lost the smell of her husband. Two towels are making the carpet damp. Bulbs are still on in the bathroom and on the landing, shining a slither into Richard’s quiet room. A lamp on her bedside table illuminates the fragments of water still in her hair. On her left ankle there is a small strand of dried blood and the skin on her thighs is waiting for moisturiser. Somewhere in her sleep is the memory of tears.