We are sitting in a worn-out cafe, with fruit
that is a little too far gone, and she decides to explain it
to me like this: the neighbors’ boy was there
while the parents were away, the summer heat
beating down, all the birds like feathered shade
along the electric wires. She poured the oil
and sunscreen into his small hands, drenching
the palms, and she asked him to rub the concoction
across her skin. Her back, at first, and then her arms.
Her legs. And when he arrived in front of her, standing
between her knees, she remembers how he—gently,
child-like—touched two fingers to one side of her face,
and then the other, rubbing the oil into her blushing cheeks.
He was so close, she could feel the coolness
of his breath where the oil was drying, and she kissed him.
She says it was fast and soft, and the boy was quiet,
looking around as if searching for more clothes. I am part geranium.
I imagine this boy, the lotion on his hands, pressing
and releasing, and then the kiss—which opened up
every sense in the world. How he, too, could lean in
and start something small.