In the cool of the river we did not notice the heat of the sun.
Not even when we climbed soaking from the water
Did we feel the scorching of our skins
and because we hadn’t planned on being outside that day,
neither of us had bothered to wear sun-block .
That night we were exhausted;
eyes heavy and head groggy from exposure to the sun.
Our skins burnt a deep red,
but neither noticing as we fell into bed.
The next morning we both awoke early because everything was painful,
soft cotton sheets like knives slicing the skin off our blistered shoulders.
Shifting uncomfortably in our clothes,
our t-shirts devices of torture,
We threw them off to spray aloe vera on each other
and whimpered at the slightest touch.
In a few days we began to peel,
our skins sloughing off in great flakes.
When we could not reach our backs
we employed one another to strip away our outer cover.
It became a game to see who could pull
the biggest in-tact piece of flesh from the other’s body,
exposing fresh pink bodies underneath,
as we gathered the dead skin in our hands.
A friend of mine once remarked that
Is the kind of love that is real.
Everyday love is messy:
A morning breath kiss when you awake,
A passing of gas while curled on the couch watching television,
The scratch of unshaved legs during a moment of passion.
It is when there is no second thought about these moments
That our love becomes secure.
When we are old and dying
our bodies breaking down and leaving us
feeble and unable to care for ourselves,
I know that one will care for the other.
I would walk to the end of the earth for you,
just as I walk to the shower now
to wet a towel with cool water
to place upon your burning shoulders.
They say ninety percent of household dust consists of skin cells.
Every day I breathe you in
and in the summer I hold you,
pieces of you in my hands.