lost the sunset (but that's okay)
by Jennifer-Oksana

I know you. (I know you I know you I knew you I'll know you I know you)

There's a family resemblance, if the family is one of ruthless and unbreakable spirit, if there is kinship between a wren and a songbird, I know you (mop of red hair, blue-green eyes, I know you I know you this I know, but what do I know?) to be my family.

Gaius tells me that it is the guilt of so many dead (wayward souls, a murder of crows) that causes me to see things that aren't there, but you're not dead, and you are my family (living in the family tree) and I know. Something. Our eyes met once in Caprica City. In the marketplace, and you did not know me, but you flinched in the way only family does.

Our eyes will meet, and I will take your hand (there is something about your hand, woman, there is something about you, but there is nothing but spark around you), and you will shiver and stand still for your sins.

Are you my mother? Am I the daughter you have cast off? Are we all your daughters, unloved and regretted?

God loves me. You forgot me, even though prophets should see these things in advance. Until your death was upon you, you forgot me, until that last moment when you prepared for...for what? There would be no resurrection. No downloading.

(I know you but I've never seen you at home. There is no body like yours among the other models. The females are younger. Prettier. Undiseased. Fertile. None of us could be you.)

I heard that you said (communication like a VIRUS), once, you wanted a younger, blonder body like mine. If I could only know (a dark mirror of your own desires, inside of me and smiling smiling smiling, lady, I swear by all the dead I have never known you not to smile) why I know you, you could take mine.

She knows, Gaius, she knows something that no one else knows, but I know her from a million places. (Dangerous. This has always been dangerous ground to tread. At the Riverwalk in Caprica City when I kissed him, my dark angel of a man, but when I kissed him, he smelled of a woman's expensive perfume) I have always known you, haven't I, Laura? You are not my mother and I am not your child, but you gave birth to me all the same, and when you saw what your children had created, you wept.

Did you weep?

The scriptures say I must know you. The scriptures say that you are all that is more than what we are, but you are only a woman. Only a human (it's all in my head), only mortal (you spasmed and died and were reborn), only a woman (looking at me hungrily, as though you would trade a hundred lives for a kiss), and I know you, but I don't.

Instead of knowledge gained, it's knowledge splintered. Knowledge that is useless because it won't fit together, won't integrate. I know you and it fractures into a kaleidoscope.

Into madness.

I want to know you. I want to know why my faith in God shivers just upon the sight of you (or maybe it's my faith in Gaius, my man, my mission, and my downfall), and why your quiet words shake an entire room of the Cylon.

If you are only a woman (could I seduce you?), only a human (would you kiss me back the way that Helo kissed Sharon, the way Gaius kissed me?), only mortal (why can't I remember you?), then why do I feel like a child or a fool when you put one hand on my arm?

Aware that I am a hero of my people, aware that this is not how I should be acting, I stop. God's love is with me, and I am not afraid of a mere fallen prophet, who does very little besides teach school and bring predictable notes from the pathetic rebels who occupy this ball of mud. And who is this Laura, with her shaggy hair and aging hands and long, sloppy clothes, to challenge me?

But before I can banish you (from mind, from desire, from waking nightmare, I know you like a lover, want you to touch me like one, oh God, I know you), I smell perfume. Jasmine and sandalwood, like the day on the Riverwalk.

"Is that your perfume?" I ask, driven to know. For my sins.

"There aren't any special occasions to save it for, now," is the reply. "Is that all?"

No. Yes. I don't know.

Yes. (I know you) No. (I'll keep your secret)

I don't know.


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