At the family reunion, the cousins,

a girl and a boy, stood alone

in the kitchen of the farmhouse

away from the stories and laughter

in the parlor and dining room,

and in a glance at the back door

slipped barefoot into the yard

under the cover of the rain

into the woods towards a stream,


leapt over it into the mud

on the other side of the bank

not knowing what it was

they were chasing, slid down

a slick knoll of high grass

seasoned by summer,


tumbled into each other,

kissing to the teeth,

pulled at each other’s hair,

tore off tops and shorts

until they could touch

what they had chased,

let their bodies lead them

where they were led to go



they lay looking face to face

sleeping and waking,

watching the last clouds

of the storm push away,

lay the rest of the afternoon

drying with the sun

in realms of butterflies