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How it Was and Was Not

Aubree Blomgren

At the beginning, ours was the difficulty of youth,

of property, having none but our bodies,

always in wild search of a place to lay

longwise. Out of necessity

we became collapsible, able to fold

into one another on any surface

large enough for one.

If we met now, instead of at eighteen,

when our personalities were like pages

from coloring books colored emphatically

inside of the lines because we were so proud

we had learned how not to scribble,

you would come back to my place,

or I would go to yours, both of us apologizing

for the mess, or maybe just me,

and you would take my shirt off,

no, probably I would, and you'd see

nothing special. Just boobs.

When you are medium-old,

clothing is the wrapper,

even the body is the wrapper,

it's that inside that lasts about as long as candy lasts,

that we are trying to get at. Even when you try

to slow down and make your pores wide

like arms expressing an amount of love,

you can't stretch into a sponge that can soak

up or in much of anything,

having so many previous others already

filling up those pockets.

All of us--thirty-something-saturated

are at a point where we simply spread around mess.

There isn't a way to wring out all the fucking

we've done. Certainly, one doesn’t get wrung

free from her cynicism by telling the truth

of how it ended up ending...Deadbeat dad.

But maybe telling the beginning will twist and rinse,

a little.

We didn't have an apartment

and had learned to find cover and heat

in a sleeping bag with gasoline clouded in it's fabric:

a repetitive, quilted sky of pheasants scattering

(after a shot gun cry?), making some of the birds

probably hit and the sleeping bag

a depiction of fowl paused between falling and flying.

Fitting, because we laid as if we'd been shot

and stacked on top of one another

in a hunter's bag. My heart beating

his into the ground, kissing like flashlights

searching for something in the dark,

completely blind to what the fabric

of sleeping bags try to do; tell us

what life wants from us.

In this case, hunt. I didn't know

we were both game,

the ones holding the guns,

and the molecules between them.

I was a child and he was a child learning love,

which is learning to walk on a moon,

where things like gravity are irrelevant,

and breasts are new, bright stars

exactly like the ones we had been

singing about since we learned

they grant wishes.