Half-Hour Before All-Day Training: Julia Wakes Up, Says Happy Birthday, But That's Not All

“Kiss me first, but open your mouth.”

Today is Marianne’s nineteenth birthday. This is the way the day begins, with her tan body wrapped in my sheets. She is propped up on one arm, elbow locked, her free hand wiping at her eyes. I am taken by the shape of her legs, the yellowed bruises on her shins, scrapes on her knees. I want to run my tongue over the brown scabs there, taste the taste of old blood and new skin forming, dirty metal and salt. I want to taste her, everything she’s got for me.

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