Freckles and Curls In embryonic Eden Before the rains came: Seeds were planted, Hand in hand, Giving rise to fruit trees Casting shadows Over evermore. In elementary Eden Before the fruit was ripe: A vision of paradise With brown curls and freckles. A déjà-vu unnoticed. You pressed my back against the chain link fence, your lips touched mine; I didn’t know what I had, but gladly I gave it all to you. You held it close to your heart, And away you flew. I found you down on Salem Avenue after the darkness fell. Pavlov’s pain prevented me from telling you the truth: That your smile, and those freckles on your nose, parted the clouds, pulled back the curtain, and loosened the tightness in my chest. Was that smile just for me? I’ll probably never know. Before I could ask I was left alone again, barefoot in the freshly fallen snow. There was that one time at band camp, when the summer breeze kissed the beach. You made castles in the sand. We ate s’mores By the bonfire, brown curls falling in your eyes, freckles dancing on your cheeks; laughter that would never end. In the fall you wanted it made official. We set the time and you saved the date, but I forgot and left you standing there in front of the supermarket, emerald eyes shedding saltwater fears. The last time I saw you, Outside that dancehall Near Haystack Rock, You couldn’t even Look me in the eye, And I never looked back. East of Eden Before Death entered the world. I saw you there, Slouching in your desk Across the classroom. You came up behind me As they walked on by, Oblivious and annoyed. We straggled behind, Shoulder to shoulder, Entangled forever.