Before
by Risa Kaparo

    I did not remember
    spooning on the bed, watching Hepburn and Taylor
    on the four-inch Sony that I had begged almost a year for.
    And pretending not to notice
    when your hand came to rest on my waist,
    the studied screen forging my composure.

    I did not remember
    until the feeling lapped against my mourning
    the delicate lace of your breath on my neck
    our muscles
    sweetening.
    How we laid so still
    belonging.

    And just beneath the skin-- two horses
    carving up the hillside, the wild
    endurance, the rearing up, longing turning
    upon itself, the dread of time.

    They told me your spine snapped even before you hit the water
    before the earth had ever rushed through your fingers
    before I could offer myself to you.






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