how it starts

I bumped my head the night we met and never saw things the same way again.

The second day I saw him, we walked down a boardwalk along a salt-scented Brooklyn coastline. He wore sweatpants and a baseball hat and we talked about him being first generation and me having left for a decade. We comment on the different shades of green blossoms in each other’s eyes. He kisses me at Cony Island, on the subway and all other kinds of pubic places.

“I love that you don’t give a fuck,” he says before shoving his tongue in my mouth while I nearly tip off my bar stool leaning into his clean, tight shave. I end up getting a chin rash from our faces devouring the other and we agree that he’ll shave closer next time.

And then we kiss again, here. And more, there.

We were born in the same year. The year of the horse. We have secrets that we haven’t shared yet, and some that we’ll never tell. Out of respect, we don’t call when the other disappears. Instead, we wordlessly exchange a youthful trust that one of us will always appear again. Somewhere.

He stands better than half a foot above me, and there’s something that melts me when I have to look up that high. When I actually have to tip my head back to focus.

He acts like Italy and sounds like love. He’s a stranger who is my family and when we talk I say things like, “I care about you and your family very much.”

He smells like Paris and dresses like Soho. When he asks, I agree. And that’s how it starts.

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