We found the hot summer asphalt under our boots, then our feet,
then our bare knees, bare backs.
He’d wanted waves, but we found a parking lot instead,
streetlamps studding such emptiness. We drank gin from its glass bottle,
laughter pushing us from wheel-well to paved earth.
Heat, absent the night before, finds its way through the van where light cannot.
Not the hiss of roads, not birds, not sun: a woman’s laughter, a slamming car door.
And then wakefulness.
In my bed, an unfamiliar body
demands familiarity: planed bone, more plateau
than hill or valley, unrelenting in its intraversible silence.
To move against it is suddenly provocative, despite the sweat,
despite the turn-towards of sour breath. I pull away,
maleness affronting, illuminated, the persistence of bone
and muscle in place of softness.
There is blood on her mattress, smoldering
in the light from the window, a new continent
smearing across the backs of our thighs.
Yours? she asks. I shake my head,
my mouth another shy opening. She pushes the blankets
from the bed with her feet, electric body a whisper
as she, searching, dips her fingers.
By Leah Kuehn
Leah Kuehn is a graduate of Denver School of the Arts and University of Maine at Farmington. They interned with the Beloit Poetry Journal for two years, are a steering committee member of the Belfast Poetry Festival, and are a co-creator and co-editor of The Lark, an online literature and arts magazine. Their work is forthcoming in GFT Presents: One in Four and has been commissioned by the Maine Humanities Council. They live in Westbrook, Maine.