Too Late to Shake Hands with the Unlicensed

When the sun rises, first
where you are,
then an hour later
outside my apartment window,

we can see the flames
of a billion candles
inside each moment
if we resist the urge

to swipe our fingers
through the tips. Just for kicks
the way we did
when we were too young

to believe in death.
I am the governess

of my feelings. You, yours.
A bigger fire begins
to burn through the day
into night. Some liar’s pit

on a hill behind a school.
We could be tossing in
all kinds of combustibles.
My governess lets me

stay out all night now,
no questions asked.

It all hinges
on that first kiss—
the one that already happened,
plotted out a billion years ago.

Not one locked gate,
milk chute for crawling through,
car ignition. Not
a single regret.

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