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  • I was about to leave, really, I was about to leave the gathering, by the lake, the boys were all naked, jumping into the water, splashing, some were in canoes, paddling, others were lazying on floats, shaped like a giant swan, a green turtle, the day was bristling hot, the sun like needles jabbing against the skin, I was feeling sun-drenched, squinty, and the festive music, now annoyed me, the jubilation from the narcotics I took was fading, leaving a residue of downtroddeness, an alienation, people coupling in twos and threes, and I felt like a voyeur, both envious and repulsed, by the display raw naked sex, something cannibalistic about desire, and I so took a walk, towards the creek, the willow tree beckoning, with its wispy entanglement, the shade felt so good, I followed the water, skipping over stones, the orange salamanders, the blue dragonfly, the music from the party ebbing, and turning the corner, I found a niche, a bit of sand to lie down, near the cottonwoods, and the tall reeds, and there was where I met you. . .splendid in your nakedness, napping, oh, it was a true your face, in that slant of sunlight, I think of the myths I loved as a child, you were like a faun, curly dark hair, curling lips, blushing cheeks, and of course my eyes were also drawn downwards, to the most intimate parts of you, now open, vulnerable, in truth, it was less than an erotic experience, more an experience of innocent beauty, and I think that was what I wanted in that moment, not a Dionysian orgy, but a feeling of tenderness, of connection not through only flesh, but deeper than the marrow of bone, something that I had had with a lover from Germany, something that was not of this world, but was the source of everything good in this world.

    I don’t know how long I stayed there watching you sleep but when you opened your eyes, I could see that they were kind, and wordlessly you beckoned me towards you, with your hands, and I amazed myself, by allowing myself to be drawn to you, and it felt so natural, though we were strangers, for me to strip, and lie next to you, the itchy ground, covered in leftover crumpled leaves, and really all that happened that day was this embrace, nothing more, but it was enough, no—it was plenty.
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