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Image by Broh Julan

What We Touch in Each Other

When our hands touch, 
or lips meet, that meeting 
reaches down past our hips
to the city streets you 
grew up in, and up to
the sidewalk I scuffed
my knee on. As we turn
those touches over 
in our bodies, repeating
our dance in the circle 
of these spaces, we are, 
of all places, here, 
touching the boundaries
of these histories 
inside each other’s skin, 
cycling through us
as the moon shifts 
tidal light through the tree
outside our window,
wind shakes its branches,
and all the leaves quake. 


Doesn’t every day start with one?
Take that alarm or light 
shaking sleep from me, 
drowning the first good dream 
I’ve had in months. I can sail 
its fading waves as far as 
the morning walk 
where a car horn 
breaks my prayer,
this desire to stay warm 
with you under the covers 
in a lingering kiss. But then 
it dissipates at the shore 
of my wondering if 
there is nothing but tangents 
to every intention, currents 
that carry us off course, 
the way our eyes teared up 
in wind just as we went in 
to kiss our first time, 
and knocked noses, laughed 
and knew we would keep 
trying to come together like this,
no matter how many detours 
there were between 
what we had and the night 
that closed around us.

Michael T. Young’s third full-length collection, The Infinite Doctrine of Water, was longlisted for the Julie Suk Award. He received a Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award. His poetry has been featured on Verse Daily and The Writer’s Almanac. It has also appeared in numerous journals including Main Street Rag, Pinyon, Talking River Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Vox Populi.


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