by Shana Genre

Sky dark — stars penetrating the black.

You meet me out back, your hand soft and damp with sweat;
my belly sparks at the tender fumbling of our arms.
The air is cool and thick — we drink it and it is alive.
Crickets call to us from the grasses
as we breathe in
each other.

We steal away to our hideout at Quaker Pond.
We make our camp.

You, with your blue tarp
snapping crisply over a rope snaked between two trees.
A tent, you call it, gesturing grandly to a battered quilt
as if to say, “This is our home.”

I know it is not our home.

But for tonight, I will lie beneath that tarp
with you, even though Daddy says that good girls
are pure.  I will embrace you, and together we will burn
as a luminous flame.

Now your man’s eyes are focused, intent, like a gentle animal
on the hunt.  Not a boy’s eyes anymore.
I touch your cheek,
as soft as the petals of a daisy.  Your breath shakes
like the ocean whipped by a perfect storm,
leaving its damp mist along the crest of my ear.


The rustling night rocks us,
not like babies, but like the lovers we are.
We are grounded, with nowhere to fall,
our bodies anchored to breath, to flesh,
to Earth.