You are crossing a river, together. He holds out his hand. His fingers are long and strong, somehow they feel safer than the bridge you’re standing on.
His face is sunburnt, freckles splashed generously. From birth, he was touched by the sun. You would think Apollo doted on him as a baby; loving him, claiming him as his forever. Only, he doesn’t know how much he’s loved. It shows on his face. His eyes are brave because they had to be.
He knows how to take care of people, his hands know how to hold on, to protect, to fight for. They’re big enough to make yours disappear, and the palm warmer than you thought, rougher. His fingers won’t let go until you tell him to.
You hold on for a moment longer.
In the morning, he smells like fresh mountain air, earth, the woods. Somehow, it’s the most comforting scent you’ve known.
You share breakfast, your hands touch. When you make a silly little joke, he smiles like he found a piece of chocolate hidden in the pockets of his leather jacket.
While taking a walk, you step a bit closer and find he smells like the rain, even when the rain’s been gone for days. Sprinkles of the sea on his wet hair. The boy Poseidon would envy, the one Amphitrite longs to touch.
Afternoon, you’re resting. He smells like a mixture of comfort and weariness. When you nestle into him, you feel you’ve been looking for a home and you’ve found it.
At night, you open your eyes to find him sleeping. Softly breathing, he smells like the campfire you’re lying next to. In the forest, sleeping under the stars.
Long before dawn, there’s nothing but the sound of crickets. It’s the last thing you remember from the dark before you close your eyes.
Your head rests on his lap, he doesn’t move.
When the sun comes, it comes in the shape of his face. You see spots of colors: the soft pinks of his lips. The dark, cool brown that belongs to his hair and skin.
It’s all surrounded by the yellow warmth of the Sun. And in the circles around his eyes, you find the Moon.
His eyes are as black as the night he carries with him like an armor, a weapon at times, a poison to strangers.
There are stars sprinkled on his face that would wake you up from any dream with a longing.
From a cold night made warm.
And finally, in the soft touch of his hands, you find the color blue of the most beautiful winter.
He reminds you of a proud, wounded bird, sometimes; the way he stands there, defiant, truthful.
He’s a vibrant, beautiful shade of blue, this boy; a gem with jaded wounds, sharps cuts on his skin, still bleeding when reminded of them.
Sometimes, he looks like a marble depiction of a mythological hero, as if a sculpture to admire, to lay flowers and other tokens of appreciation at his feet.
There are times you wish he were cast in stone. He would be end-less, immortal, as he deserved, if humans can deserve such a thing. He would stand forever by your side.
It’s unfair to wish it, but maybe then you’d find a way to make the shadows in his eyes disappear. Maybe you’d find the source of it all, pull it out from where it festered.
Free to admire him, you’d spend your days connecting the dots on his face to form constellations.
He lets out a laugh, his mouth pulled into a teeth-showing grin.
There come thunder and sparks.
You wonder if this is how spring came to be. A boy with his eyes laughed at Persephone and suddenly she knew where she belonged.
He’s taller than you, you don’t mind him holding you with his tree-branch arms.
His dark curls turn into waves, soft and rough like a raging black sea. You don’t think he has to try hard to make it look good.
His voice can make you feel like you’re tumbling down a hill and getting cut everywhere.
It can be the rough wind on your face or a raging fire you want to warm your hands on.
A lullaby, or a story of the times when Gods were selfless.
Leaves the bitter taste of rust, and the sweetness of strawberries on your tongue.
So you blink once and close your eyes.