| her (pronoun) | /ɛl/
You loved to watch her read. But you feared the storm that lingered beneath the surface of her smile. Indeed, her eyes betrayed a certain sadness, stemming, perhaps, from the realization that her life would never mirror the fantasies found between the pages of her books. And her staccato nights, fuelled by equal parts panic and epiphany, threatened everything. You wondered if she weren’t unlike a child, who shaped a structure to send it crashing to the ground. She pressed her face to window panes and yearned for a faraway somewhere. She spoke a language you did not understand, a language laden with longing. Hers were symbols fashioned of sorrow and shame. You had accepted long ago that she could not be kept. She was her own. She rode caffeine highs and benzo lows, and you waited ’til she could ride those whirling wakes no more. She measured her life in intervals—telling herself, if she could just survive this day, a week, one month—and before you knew it, a year had passed. Yes, a whole year had passed as you strove to solve the coded strain of her sacred smile and the glory of her harrowed gaze.