Now, you remember the minute graces—
her, waist deep, palming figure eights
on the lake’s surface, infinities
in the sky’s reflection.

Funny you could not love fully
until she was gone. Could not even touch
her face until it slackened, cooled.

You think differently now and
too late. After your first blood stained
the sheets, she led you to her bed that
for years had been half empty.

What you wanted? Never
to soften, never to be heard
crying behind a bathroom door, to be

a white-knuckled fist of a girl.
Now, of that moment in bed,
you recall the moonlight polishing
one wall of the room, her body

a shadow pressed to its light,
breasts and belly rising and falling
like soft waves unfurling. Her breathing
is really what you miss—

the belief that it would go on
forever, like when you, a girl, stood
at the shore, unable to tell water
from sky.

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