I still think about the painting from the Lowe Street Museum. It was part of the Greek mythology exhibit, one of two works for Artemis. This painting was supposed to be the huntresses: if you knew the myth, you could read the shapes as smooth-bodied girls transforming into smooth-bodied hounds. But Actaeon (2018, oil on canvas) was almost abstract. There was no moon beyond a tiny slit of light between what might have been trees, and the “transformation” looked less like a sequence than a blob of haunches and limbs.
Your mirror was at leg height the night we fucked up. The way you’d positioned your bed, I could watch my bent knee bounce weakly on the wall and try not to think about that painting.
There’s no kind way to describe that night. After the tears stopped you were trembling a little, so I kept my arms tight around you and breathed in the smoke from your hair. I was still thinking about that destroyed drag of Lowe Street, the way the window had shattered next to your face. I didn’t expect you to kiss me. Since they questioned us separately, you couldn’t have known what I’d done by then.
When you said to come over, I had thought I’d tell you the whole story so you knew I never cracked. I was going to make it some terrible speech about my loyalty to you, about how the bastards had it coming, all that. But then you opened the door and I saw your face. It made the words evaporate. I don’t mean anything by this now, but all I wanted at that point was to hold you. Which didn’t change when you took off my clothes.
It wasn’t our best, but we did both need the distraction. I just couldn’t stop watching my stupid leg. You remember those fairy lights you’d use instead of your overhead? In the mirror, I pretended I was moonlit, and what we’d done was some glorious hunt. Maybe we were girl-hounds in that eternal prime, bounding recklessly back through the trees.
Isabel Wolf is a San Franciscan undergrad who can be found on Twitter at @stealsutrotower. They hope you find a cool rock today.