The Year We Did Not Get Married

I wished you into the dock over the lake
on the day I was born.
Cities blinking back told me that fall
was a season I could count on.
Like your lips on my shoulder,
my hands in your hair.

I put roasts into the oven of you,
Scrubbed clean and safe and new
My brain spinning birds nests of songs.
Banjo Sunday sun ripe and worn, my hands
Stoking something warm.
Something I deserved.

Drunk on dirt roads
and piled under blankets
we slept closer to the headboard.
Pushed our barnacled, spindled posts
toward the salt spray
of the wintered city
through the burning blue of
your eyes and mine.

Blooming, thunderous, and green
never getting over it,
Sheet music and four stanza’d feet
keeping time.

I wished you into the summer time
Placed mason jars full of lemonade lightning bug promises
into your sock drawer.
You used your teeth and your lips and your spit
To stain me, proud and glorious on
the back porch of our bellies stretching.

You put on your earrings in the hallway
and I put on my jacket on the stairs
and we walked down the street holding hands.

Magazines full of white dresses
next to open windows
sailed into something that
lake wasn’t large enough to hold.

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