We Bloomed Midway Through Life

"Death and Life" by Gustav Klimt

I will show you fear in an hourglass
it’s a beast your hand growing older on my knee
all the neighborhood girls wiped clean.
We have fights quilted into our hamstrings,
the chroma of our courtship is thick with summers.
One June there was so much rain no umbrella
the stitching on my bra bled through my shirt
I thought your grin was mine all mine but no at dinner
still damp from a shower you told me
I was transparent to everyone even my underwear—
I threw the rest of my spaghetti at you
your face all marinara red you all ready to
get up I sat with you pinned my legs around you
slurped the strands falling over your forehead
I licked the tomato sauce from the cavity of your nose
I fed you like a mother bird,
importing olive bits from your chin past your lips,
my tongue on your tongue your hands on
my hipbones I could taste the smell of you in my throat—
I felt you rising the ground tilting my head dropping
gently I was a baby again my father putting me down
the layers stripping off I felt the air of childhood on
my belly I felt your lips sliding up the bone of my shin
I saw the alligator cake of my fifth birthday my mom
holding out her arm to me in the department store
spanking me for getting lost; I feel your knees against
my ribs the cotton sliding from my body I remember
the last time my dad sang Brahms to me the stern voice
of weekend mornings, “Grounded young lady not a word.”
I remember teaching you how to say my name.
I remember being lonely one summer I still feel it
sharp like glass in my ribs sometimes it grows stronger
strong like the shadow of you pressing down on me
my breath your big skin soft body I am just a girl again
out past curfew enter me I am a woman teenager-
scared sometimes lonely often lovely and I know it.