Within the first hour of coming back to him, I knew it was only for the night. He didn’t hand me the single helmet hanging on the handlebars of his motorcycle. Instead he pulled back his red hair and secured the strap behind his goatee.
I unfolded the last dollars from my back pocket and wrote my name in the motel registry while he sat outside flipping his keys in the air. Stepping back into the night, I noticed the stars were prettier than I had been in a long time; I wished for tar clouds, or hurried rain, or a warm hand to cover my eyes.
He turned on the porno channel and muted the volume. He fluffed a yellowed pillow and propped it up against the headboard, below the cigarette burns and next to the chipped wooden post, then relieved the top two buttons on his jeans.
I saw all of this in the mirrors that lined the walls like a fancy department store dressing room, so I undressed. Eyes on the dirty television screen, one hand in his pants, he motioned for me.
He was an arrow, wounding me then sealing his infection inside the wound. I stayed under the covers long past the cleaning lady’s knock on the door, long after I heard the chrome shiver on his motorcycle. I climbed out once to look at the empty parking space and noticed myself in the mirrors. I was naked, smiling, pale as a star.