It Takes a Man and a Woman

i try to learn the ways he makes my friend laugh

                             the sturdiness in the sinew of his bicep when he hugs her
                             the aloof yawn of summer in his voice
                             the way he leans in like the earth tipped over
                             the way he kisses her in the middle of the sidewalk,
                             creating a landmark out of van ness and Weldon avenue,
sunlight dropping like honey on their heads
i am a faithful understudy
i can do summer, too

           i imagine holding her hand
                   like cupping a firefly, glowing and fragile
                                                i feel an infant hurricane forming in my stomach

i can do summer, too

                                                          in my head
                                                          i get to kiss her
                          the sun watches, unforgiving
                      i feel the warmth in my head and i peel back from her

the shame pumps like an oil well
rain comes to wash the sin away but
it tattoos itself against me like pressed flowers

                                                                  he takes her to a concert

                                                                  gives her father a firm handshake

                                                                  their love is dressed in white

i am tender in all the wrong places
i dress myself in the skirts of sunshine but my flowers turn to dust
my love is cryptography
the pine shoots and needles press against the flesh of my back to remind me
i am spring, girlishly so

--Sophia B., Adult