I don’t want to be without you again. I want to stay here instead, playing connect-the-dots with the beige freckles scattered across the bend of your shoulder, lathering your back with banana-scented sunscreen, splashing you with ice-cold ocean water and making you squeal out of shock. I’m getting used to the presence of you again, which, in ordinary circumstances, would be considered a good thing—comforting, even— but for us presence comes with a certain sort of pain. Being apart from you is a lifetime of infinite longing. I wish we could stay here. I wish we could sit in the sand at eight o’clock in the evening every night, sky airbrushed a cornflower blue, pointing out our favorite beach houses— that one with the red roof! Do you see the one with the four spiral staircases? Wouldn’t it be nice to catch a sunrise from the wrap-around porch of that blue house? I wish two hundred and seventy miles didn’t separate our worlds, that I could always love you closely—an arm’s length away at most—and that we never had to make up for lost time. The next time I hold you will be at summer’s end. But for now I hold you tighter and breathe.

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