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Background: Sometimes cows lurked mere yards from your car windows, or Green Lantern and Batmans, plural, ambushed us from between my couch cushions. And sometimes you stripped your shirt off, or I did, or no one did and we left it all on because desire moves faster than the speed of buttons.

Variables, pt. 1: Sometimes we still held Belgian tripels in our hands or lamb biryani in our stomachs. We had condoms or we didn’t. We had our bodies and at least ten minutes to spare but no future to speak of, or maybe just no future about which we were willing to speak.

Variables, pt. 2: Other times, I cleared the table of sippy cups first, or you swept cold fries gallantly from the floorboards. Often we melted; often we balmed.

Constants: Always, always—except the one time I straddled you on your sofa, blue romper on the tile, dressed only in firefly sightings and bonfire smoke—your best girl, your bulldog, waited for you at home: hulking and sweet, tender like a meatball.

Design Flaws: And what wouldn’t I give [what wouldn’t anyone give] to have known the moment before I was fallen in love with: to watch it proof slow like sourdough, to smell as it finished baking. To break it open in the cold cab of a dying Skylark, warm and fresh and whole.