Before she stitched together her brassiere,
she pulled on everything that counted,
back when she stood under the broken clocktower
we played forgettable songs
and held in the darkness.
Before she lay on to her front,
she held on to everything she wanted,
back when she ran around
with every shadow covering
we used to rent our lives like campsites.
But when she’d had enough
and lay on the parquet floor
with the soles of her feet blushed red with cold,
everyone else seemed to have been standing for too long.
And she moved her head back to see me behind her
crosslegged on a stool that couldn’t take my weight.
(Later they told us it was our eyes that did it.
That stopped everyone standing.)
I was with her
as if it were just us.
As if everything else was lost,
and our only safety was each other’s bodies.
Then she was smiling.
Not smiling but laughing.
but you could see it in her eyes
and the tilt of her chin.
She looked at me and said, “More.”
And can’t I deny,
I looked at them
they all looked as if they
meant to love her.
And a girl said,
“Let’s give her heaven!”
And though she denied none of us
She remembered to
show her little boredoms
when she had them
and she looked at me,
the way she did when she wanted me to listen,
and all the breaths sounded like a sea
We hadn’t seen in years
and she took me,
and quickened me to a sprint
with the first sigh
and mercilessly limpened me
with her second.
Then she stood,
and she felt like she did when she was young.
the only thing love gave her