fragile shade and soft sweaters, fresh from the drier

she is there in the honeysuckle brambles
asking to draw a central line

beauty is gentle beneath her feet
and love is woven lace-tight alongside
thinly tendoned ankles

i am the man who found her there
deeply white beneath the fragile shade
asking me in silence:

//who could i be

but who could, or would, i be
when we washed off this dirt
and she left me, alone, and grown up?

she keeps the beat-up dream folded and crushed
for bright bursting afternoons slow in the polka-dot clouds
and anxiously remembering why

over, back in the shade
of another honeysuckle bramble,

my brothers and i in multitude, frozen in evening lounge
we glance at each other
smell licorice
anise
chlorine
and think about winter lights, fences,
and when we had the dream tucked in our backpocket

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