Beneath the Sycamore

With pens dipped

In the ruby inkwells

Of our hearts

We wrote each other

Scarlet promises

On scraps of parchment

(Such silly children)

Staring at each other

We placed them

On our tongues

And swallowed

Those bittersweet vows


The sycamore tree

Still standing

Though our love

Had long withered

On the wings

Of spring


We watched the shadows
Stretch and entangle themselves
Folding into each other over the beige walls
Like secret lovers
Lured by the pearl-tongued murmurs
Of the moon
While the wind danced and whistled coolly
By the window

And we were still by each other —
Silent and supine–
Our chests in tandem
With echoes of our soft breath
Pulling in anxiety
Rattling our rib cages
For sleep couldn’t tranquilize
The awareness of our difference —
Our changing bodies
The flux of hormones

His finger brushed mine
(An incidental stroke, perhaps)
But the second nudge
Its deliberate lingering heat
Drew my gaze to find his
In the darkness
And we held hands
Beneath the covers
Cradling vestiges of innocence
Between our palms