Outside we'd noted   the hot white oak bending
                                                                           belly over its wooden mate in the field.
In the singing darkness,
                              Sister Shanna and Brother Jared   are synced up,
clandestine rendezvousing   behind our stucco church building,    meeting every part
before their solo-ops.

       Inside, we imagine them, outside.    Oh.     Also, they both sing.
Nothing is lost to us.    They both have uncommonly    other-voices,    and we're hoping
Jared bites the butter:    marries her, we and her hovering mother—though he broke off his last entanglement.

We: thirteen and still un-kissed   working intently to inspect longing glimpses,
decipher the vowels    of their whispers.
We capture it all,     spread their secret over our skin,    mouth their damp mouths
rounding over ours   in the dark.
Notes from the next track sound between them,    night-lit spaces widening.
       We make our way back toward   the unforgiving light.
——
Once on a camping trip they'd chaperoned, I woke to Shanna in our tent, the moon of her
white buns flashing as she bent over, her black thong.    She pulled her hiked dress down, then
unzipped the opening of the tent, zip by zip, to sneak out and meet Jared.

——
Sister Shanna dies up    against a steering wheel   Leftover, the rich notes
of her voice,    a dark Pentecostal-puff,     her puffy manicured hands pulling a dress over
a moon,     a lost Oh.



Next>>