My fingertip is rough; it drags along my skin, over the curve of my breast. It’s not slippery like I need it to be, and I don’t have much alone time since you left. Strains of SpongeBob SquarePants drift from the next room.
I trawl the floor of my mouth, seeking crevices like you used to with your tongue. Until saliva dribbles down my chin and pools on my chest. Onto my nipple, soft then firm, sensitive, electric. I close my eyes and draw circles with my finger, wet like your lips.
An invisible line joins my nipples and forms a triangle that points to infinity. I circle them, winding the line taut, like spooling a spinning reel, until the pull between my legs is unbearable. My finger streaks across my tongue once more before racing down my torso, impossibly accurate, never straying from the target, maintaining tempo, intuitive, rhythmic, hypoxic. Goal-orientated.
Across the dinner table, the kids are shoving each other, knees tucked under chins and food on the floor. You tell them off, like always, like you haven’t been at sea for weeks, then return to your meal with one eye on the six o’clock news.
I fold inwards, trying to relive the slack warmth of a snatched moment.
Your profile is changing. It’s not something I would have noticed if you were around all the time. Your nose is ruddy from days in the sun, and your lips that were thin, masculine a moment before are bulging. Growing, stretching, and projecting a series of phalanges.
One of the appendages folds at the knuckle and taps you on the chin, but you don’t notice. You shovel spaghetti with a fork while the fingerlips swirl the lengths of pasta and seductively feed them into your mouth.
I cup my hand around your thigh. The corners of your mouth twitch, not exactly a smile but close enough. It takes you longer each time to shake off that other life, like a snake shedding its skin.
After a while, one of the fingers beckons to me, and I lean in for a tomato-sauce kiss.
Lisa Kenway is an Australian writer and doctor. Her short fiction appears in Meniscus Literary Journal, the anthology ‘Grieve, Vol 5’, and is forthcoming in Brilliant Flash Fiction. She was awarded Highly Commended in the 2018 Peter Cowan 600-word story competition. Find her at lisakenway.com.