The Muse

He was fleeting. He flitted. He never stayed still. He would appear on the subway and in the shop, in glimpses and lingering looks and every time he wore a different face. Scarved in december, hunched into his own coat with eyes you hoped were haunted. He had fallen out with his mother, or his brother was poorly or maybe he had lost his job. There was wine in your flat to soothe his sorrow but he is fleeting and had disappeared into the crawling beam of a headlamp. You see him in flashes in a nightclub, orange hair turning to flame under the strobe light and you know he is passionate. He would be quick to anger and quick to forgive, because quickness is in his nature. And when April comes, he is new like the spring, bearded and brunette and as gentle as dawn as he cycles past your bedroom. An artist, maybe, framed within your window panes for a fateful second before the film burns and he is gone, curling into the wind like ash. It is a soft summer evening and he has soft summer eyes, his hair golden and competing with the sun. His sleeve brushes against a bush in bloom and a flower sighs to the ground. You follow behind him and pick it from the path and pose it against the picture frame on your book shelf. But he is fleeting and winter bursts upon the city once more and the flower shrivels into the polaroid.

Prompt: ‘Fleeting’

By Louise McCue.

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