The story continues elsewhere— somewhere

no longer habitable— in a secret place 

beyond the fringes of bodily reach. I know this to be true

because I can still feel the palpable movement

of anatomies ripe with call and response, 

weight shifting and unfolding like origami paper,

hidden flesh creasing then collapsing.

The story— our story— endures

in the memory of its telling.

In that secret place we are still allowed

to share persimmons under evergreen trees,

spitting seeds into stiff grass, colliding teeth

with nectarous juice still dripping from our lips.

In that secret place we are still allowed

to wash each other’s backs,

treating each vertebrae like gospel, scrubbing

the peaks and valleys of our physical forms

until we are made new again.

I know that place exists

because sometimes I wake with the taste of winter fruit on my tongue

as if I’d bitten into something ripe just seconds ago, 

or the sensation of fingers skimming the dips of my spine,

a feeling like coming home.

And I know it’s you—

reaching out from that other world we cannot visit

where the story never ends—

and that it has to be you, 

because no one moves me the same way, or ever could,

in this one.

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