by Viara R Mileva-Seitz
I notice the scars on her back. I wasn't born yesterday. She's a made-over angel. Wasn't meant to be, maybe, or maybe she fucked up somehow. She slumps over the gleaming bar like she doesn't want to be disturbed, but I can't stop my feet from trudging over, leaving traces of soot.
She doesn't look up. Don't think she sees me, though the fluorescence casts my shadow over her clutched hands on the alabaster countertop.
"I couldn't help but notice you," I mumble.
Her response, slow. "Go away."
Her skin is molten rivers down her neck. Milky brown velour. Maybe all angels are like this. Last night's flames swim through my mind. Impossible to shake them; but I'm off duty. Someone else fights tonight's fires.
The angel's back has healed but not well. Ridged suture lines make my fingers itch. Maybe they remind me of burn scars.
"Were you born human?" I whisper. I've always wondered this. I've wondered so many things about angels but never met one to ask.
"No," she whispers back. We've created a conversational reverie. We'll keep the volume low.
"Well," I say. "Now you're like the rest of us."