Bare, sleek against sheets, we exist in the break between sultry rain. The bite quick, like snake venom spreading through my limbs; the afterward, a dismembering of thoughts as the fever climbs each spinal curve into the reptilian self I call home. This isn't love; I could kill. My need an addiction like morphine after amputation, like a tongue finding the socket almost closed, the incessant searching for the tooth. The crows come again listening for our breathing, leaning in, observant of the way I watch for the light. And the dogs know. No longer quiet beside me, they huddle in corners, try to bond with strangers. I am a stranger to the mirror, eyes dark underneath, skin glassine. I want the drug of you in me, the burn so close to need. We are being born and still born again. My love, you have taken from me the substance.