It began the way a splatter of renegade raindrops begin to fall -
which is to say slowly, and in bursts, and without pattern -
this is how I found myself entwined around the gaps in your spine,
twisted into knots like ribbon that climbed the ridges one at a time.
I was too young the first time I learned that sex was a duplicitous thing;
my juvenile tongue mistook it for freedom and my bare feet
welcomed the stone-covered path like a trial I knew I had to pass.
It was your knees that wound up bloody, pressed into the stones,
your fingers entwined with mine while you waited for me to come in from the rain,
your clothing soaked and your words soggy and unclear -
but you never did have to speak in order for me to hear you.
I think I heard you all my life, from great distances and
as strangers might glimpse each other in window reflections or
around unfamiliar corners - like specters from dreams we couldn’t remember.