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Speechless in Sleepless Dreams
Précis by Chantel Tattoli
Now that Malaina's dead, he thinks often about how they were so good and then heartless to each other, alternate versions, white as the daylight prism, and as black as the center of eyes without sun or lightbulbs. How his tongue had waved in salute to her, and later, how it had flung such scalding words.
He shouldn't have said half of it. She was alive then, he spoke to her face, or worse, in ways he can look up now, word for word. She was alive when he said it, but it seems like he was speaking ill of the dead. Somehow death has rendered Malaina innocent, and stock words like "sorry" and "guilt" have shed their banal skins, and he feels their skeletons pocking him, like he's sleeping on hard objects lost in his covers. He is sorry; he is guilty. But there is no undo. If he died, maybe he could be found innocent too.