i wanted to write you a story
in which we met at nine years old.
we would have found each other
barefoot and shin-deep in a creek,
water moving just enough
to carry away clouds of sediment disturbed by our clumsy steps.
not old yet enough to know i should be shy
in the presence of who you will later be,
i might have asked your name
and if you had seen any big crayfish today
and shown you my catches i’d put
in an old cool-whip container sitting on the bank.
but i couldn’t get my language down
or mask the love-story cleverly enough,
because the author knows now i would love that girl forever
dirty hands and muddy jeans and hair as wild as the wind.