the dart of fish faint at our ankles, each
shuttered BBQ shack a kudzu flash
in my side mirror. Pleasure has become
the itch of a mosquito bite between
my shoulders, and your rough thumb on my thigh
a tickle gentle as turtles bobbing
in Sea-Doo oil slick and cellophane scraps.
How many years did I suffer the loves
that gave too much freedom and not enough
tenderness? Let me be like the man we
saw outside of Notasulga, hands cuffed
behind his back, cigarette in his mouth,
and you be the sheriff, leaning in close,
cupping the sweet flame to my waiting face.