I can see you out of the corner of my eye. The car window is down, and your head is sticking out, leaning into the open air. Your lips are slightly open, as if to drink the shimmering, orange–hued rays of light. I reach over with my right hand to coax some music out of my Jeep’s old stereo system, and Sharon Van Etten’s “Tarifa” starts playing. You retreat from the Texas sun’s intoxicating warmth, turn your head to look at me, and smile with all the radiance of the light you just inhaled.





Hit the ground
The yard, I found something
I could taste your mouth
Shut the door
Now in the sun tanning

The sun beats on our bodies as we melt into the sand. The waves erase the evidence of moments ago, and seconds quickly wash into hours. A gentle breeze caresses my half–naked body—or was that your fingers? My eyes are closed and so are yours; neither of us say anything. A month ago, that silence would smother us, and we would choke out a half–formed joke just to try and breathe again. Now, we’re content to bask in each other’s presence; we’re happy to just exist at the same time, in the same place. My eyes are still closed but yours aren’t, and all of a sudden, I can taste your mouth. The hours turn back to seconds as we kiss. I fade into you—two impressions in the sand become one.

You were so just
Looking across the sky

I’m lying down on the picnic blanket, staring up at you. Your head blocks the sunlight, and you’re turned slightly away from me, gazing at something in the distance. Rays of light outline the silhouette of your face. I’m close enough to see every minute imperfection, if you had any.

Can't remember
I can't recall, no
I can't remember anything at all

The night air is warm and sticky, and the city streets smell like gasoline and anticipation. I add another scent to the mix, bringing a joint to my mouth and cupping my hands to shield my lighter’s meager flame. A provocative thudding emanates from a nearby house, and I ask you if you want to find its source. I’m hoping you’ll say no—selfishly, I want you to myself. I don’t want to be surrounded by a multitude of bodies that aren’t yours. Shaking your head, you take a long, last drag of the dying joint before stamping out the embers, extinguishing the final light of the alley we’re walking down. We find a rogue streetlight—an oasis on this dark street—and pause. My hands are on your waist, and yours are around my neck. Looking in your eyes, my mind starts whirling. Maybe I smoked too much. I can’t remember where we are, or why we’re here, but I find myself thinking about how pretty you look under the artificial glow.

We skipped the sunrise
Looking across the grass
Said he wanted
And not that I'm every
It's the same, I could mean you were right

I left my window open last night, and the morning light gently shakes me awake. You’re still sleeping, every soft exhalation a precious thing. I run my fingers through the streams of hair cascading down your shoulders. Eyes fluttering, you stretch your arms. “I was in a dream,” you mutter offhandedly. I apologize for bringing you back to real life. “No,” you correct me, “it’s the same.”

Everyone else
Hasn't a chance, don't
Fail me now
Open arms, rest

“Do you love me?” you whisper into my ear, not needing a reply but wanting one anyway. I tighten my open embrace; in that moment, I want you to be a part of me. I whisper back, “You know I love you, darling,” and you sigh before curling into my arms and drifting off to sleep.

Let's run under
Cursing myself at night
Slow it was 7
I wish it was 7 all night

You tell me to meet you at the pregame “around 7pm!:)." I’m nervous—I’ve never met you before—and I’m not sure what “around 7pm” means. I decide to be fashionably late, and opt for an arrival time of 7:08 p.m. I was fashionably late, but you’re even cooler than I am; I chat with friends as my butterflies turn into ravenous wolves. I take two more shots to calm down, and you walk through the door. You’re wearing a red dress, and we unconsciously step toward each other; the music is suddenly drowned out by the beat of my own pulse. 

Tell me when
Tell me when is this over?
Chewed you out
Chew me out when I'm stupid
I don't wanna
Everyone else pales
Send in the owl
Tell me I'm not a child

You call me and I ignore it; I’m too busy freaking out. My doorbell buzzes once, then twice, then three times, before my phone rings again. I’m too scared to face you, I’m too scared that you’ll be upset. I swallow my fear and open my door. You immediately pull me into a loving embrace. Later, I’m curled up in your arms. Your chin rests on my head, and my head rests on your chest. In one ear, I can hear your voice. In the other, I can hear your heart. I was scared for nothing; I feel so childish next to you now. Maybe one day, one of us will say it’s over, but our mutual devotion renders that possibility too distant to fixate on. 

You summon
Forget about everyone else
Fall away somehow
To figure it out

You give me a quick kiss on the cheek before saying goodbye and hopping out of my Jeep. The setting Texas sun bathes your building in an orange–pink glow, and I can’t tell if this is a dream or not. “Tarifa” plays again, and I decide that I don’t care what’s imaginary—you’re real enough for me.


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