Razbliuto in Ink
by Wendy Nikel
We get the love lines tattooed on our wrists on our one-year anniversary. Twelve celestial orbits of the moon. 365 rotations of the Earth. 3.154e+7 seconds since we met in the biography aisle of the quaint little bookstore on Third Street, which smells like toffee and dust. Since that serendipitous moment when you flitted around the corner and I lost my balance on that wobbly stool and somehow gravity or fate or some force higher than either drew us together, colliding like objects in space.
The guy at the guitar shop where you obsessively buy strings--a brand-new pack on the first of the month--knows a good place to get the lines done. It's near my training base, and the artist gets his ink from a meteor that crashed in the desert some twenty years ago. He's one of the best, his lines the most accurate. They glimmer silver, like some mystical mood ring when your love for a person is strong and healthy but fade out of existence when it dies.
"Now our love is written in the stars," you say between gritted teeth as his needle slides into your skin.
"And from here to the stars and back, it won't fade," I say, failing to match the poetry of your words. Your gaze becomes distant and unfocused, and I could kick myself for bringing it up. "It's only a six-month mission. I'll be back before you know it."