Strange kind of music last night. When last did I give such attention to my tongue’s each flick? Flicker flick. Not since full gluey lips met the space ‘tween thumb and fore on that purple Gram-made quilt, heart thick with some paperback scene. Seated poolside just short sixteen, asking when and when and have you and how. Will happen—yes. Trepidation too. Young kisses and what follows. Took the starch out the last day of tenth, when dad and her or is it she sister were to the store buying supplies for the Canada Day party—red and white balloons. She knew must have I handed her a five. Been planning months but still a decision made in the heat. Yes let’s wait but then the dreams. Didn’t know wet but there it was, first time his tongue oh yes I said yes don’t be nervous. Afterwards on the back deck, making a papier mâché beaver for the piñata by covering a red balloon I believe it was though could just as easily have been white. Memory. Great attempt at gentle, but still the blood, the bike seat later after he’d gone. But not just pain. A hazy in-between summer spent mounting that hill: tilled fields, graveyard, lookoff point, spring. When my hand was forced at church camp I said it was the closest I’d ever felt to God alone out there on two wheels summer noons no summer job yet. Had to say something. Still. He was there too said the time all those boys his age basketball team killed in a car crash made everyone cry. Cried the day after ours too said I could have killed you but could he have or can that only be which came to pass? Just a few bruises though the inspector said I should be farming worms. Dad had great insurance next week a perfect replica in the drive like nothing happened. Halfway up a source so pure it could rinse your sins. Coast down the other side clamped on like a lobster. Head tucked: reduces resistance. Something lost or given? Never thought much of it—shame how it’s worshipped—but still some sense of, what, loss? No, nothing lost. Just shiftings—movement away, movement towards; tingling sense of a new world yawning. Used to pedal forty minutes across the causeway when they were at work we’d swim naked in the pool and then single bed room small no clutter. Did almost nothing but plan for the next as I recall. I was worse than he could resist I’d say please please parents down the hall fuck me Timmy. Not now not now shh. Sometimes that sweet old golden retriever once in an Iambs ad Abbey she’d sit in the doorway, silent. And now? Works construction somewhere in town; no bother to track him down if I bothered of course, whole family in the county. But he chose to be out of touch a year now. And now? Lips kissed, kissed, kissed. And nothing sworn ‘fore garments torn. Practically a handshake. Wash your sheets. (text copyright Charlotte Harrison 2014. all rights reserved)