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In Flux: 25

— Aimee Seu

                    From my window
the mountains in their silent collision.
     Shenandoah, bluer than promised.
Sunrise like sinking to eye-level
               in bathwater & splashing.

          I wake up on my stomach,
half on top of him, temple to the
     inside of his upper arm & palms
pressed together, my right, his left,
          like one body praying.

               I look him over, amazed how
he sleeps on his back in abandon
as if childhood was easy. Like he’d never
     heard of something worth hiding from.
I study us, alone in the quiet

               of my new age, our skin
     dappled from a shared affinity
for purposeful scars: blooded rooster;
curled koi; ladyhead holding antique mirror,
     her face a skull in the glass.

          On his chest a poor etching
of the view from the room I grew up in:
     train tracks, telephone wires, box
of matches on the sill, his color subbing in
     for opaque winter cloud. Senior year,

     surprised me with this reckless
devotion. Does he wish now he waited
     until we made it here? This morning’s
scenic mountain range, its ragged
     gradient. Navy, indigo, periwinkle

          sky. We met so young
I was still afraid of the dark. Broke up
     at eighteen so he could fuck girls
          other than me; so I

          could fuck other girls.
My mouth coaxing open
     the small frond & lily, sweet
enamor of all my different
     hungers. It took time

          for me to know I loved him
something bodiless. His charcoal gray
     spirit, the rest just matter.
Now two and a fractured decades,
               I’m alive, in bed with him

          again. Last night, a lunar eclipse
blood moon, red balloons, a cake
     quite on fire & I’m bleeding all over us
as we lay here, my female guts
     aching in waves, a hushed finale.

          As a kid, I used to crawl
into my mother’s bed and beg her to
     hold my hand through the night.
Brave again in day’s clarity,
          I’d forgive that she hadn’t.

          Twenty-five & I still feel like her
runaway. I used to turn to her
& whisper, Swear you’ll look for me
     when you fall asleep
. And now each night

     I say, flirting as if I don’t care,
demanding, as if I could, Dream
          about me
. And where she let
my fingers go sometime in the dark

          (no one’s fault, just in sleep, naturally)
he finds them. The mountains keeping score.
     The blue-black ink fading fast
in the morning’s gold press, but still bound
               to outstay us our own bodies.


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