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1. The low brick wall in front of my all-girls dorm in late May.

A lush, pink bush blooms under the windows. We sit on the wall—you are wearing a denim jacket that I desperately hope you will wrap around me. I am wearing cutoff denim shorts and white Keds. My poetry professor walks past and we ask him to take our picture. “Oh, to be in love again!” he quips, then leaves us. He turns back in time to see me cling to your neck.


2. A busy corner on one of the wide avenues running across the city, just outside a small, reasonably-priced hotel.

We haven’t left your room for two days and now everything is too bright, too noisy, too much. I am wearing my mother’s silk blouse. The airport shuttle driver is loading your suitcase too fast. “You should go,” you tell me and then: “I don’t want to drive away from you.” But you do anyway.


3. My first apartment on Main Street, right above a hair salon and an accounting office.

We drink tea in my avocado-colored kitchen, our conversation breezy as you flip through the bridal magazines on the counter. You don’t tell me you’re about to get married too. You brush your knuckles under my chin and kiss my forehead. I stand at the top of the long staircase in the hallway and watch you walk down to the street below. My mouth is full with your name. I don’t ask you to stay.


4.  The plush lobby of an upscale hotel on a street lined with chestnut trees.

We share a slice of cake and you order me a pink cocktail. You sit across from me and study my face that has not changed in the last decade or more—so you tell me. I can still smell you on my fingers. The ornate mirrors on the elevator doors perfectly reflect the way I double over from the pleasure-pain of having found you again.


5. A suite on the eighth floor of a hip hotel overlooking the river.

You bring a bottle of brandy from your car and we sip it right before moving to the bed. There are small chocolates on our pillows, but I only crave the taste of the skin on your neck, just below your ear. A thick mist settles over the city in the morning, hiding bridges and churches and skyscrapers downtown. I can barely make out your shape as you walk to your car.


6. A coffee shop filled with college students.

They are so fucking young and hopeful. Our knees touch under the table. You drink a Coke because you have a headache and we both order the coconut cake to sweeten our truths: Yes, we think about each other all the time. Yes, I have always loved you. No, I don’t know when—or where—you’ll leave me next.