He said we were going to Texas; I bought a pair of snakeskin boots. We watched a dusty sun sink into a lake whose name I can’t repeat – because I was distracted by how the gold brown reflection from the sun dipping down swirled in hazel eyes. Like a liquid galaxy holding the time that had passed, that didn’t exist.

He told me I was beautiful and emotion moved down me in a way that twisted my insides in circles and knots. We were… (still). Surrounded by sounds like a breeze between branches, the rhythm of the crickets.

It was hard for me to…

(speak.)

My bewitched body fluttered when he said, ‘Come closer.’ I took a cautious step toward him. ‘See that’s the right way to walk in those boots. There’s only one way. Straight. Tall. The proper way.’

The sound of his voice was low and warmed a cold place in my body. A place I forgot more about each time he said, ‘Closer, come on now.’ The place that ignited when he promised…

‘I’m not letting you out of my sight again.’

Thrashes of electric peach were streaking across the cobalt horizon. I wanted to look up but he stood so…

(close.)

Close enough for me to smell grass and tobacco clinging to his denim jacket. Close enough for me to realize pressing against him is the only way for me to stand…

(straight.)

… to look forward.