around her neck-mostly
sometimes her shoulders, her cheekbones
She would blush more, if I commented on it
which I could not bear to do,
until later, in public, in front of a waitress
who knew, and smiled (at us, to herself)

Now, I see it across the room,
to and from another.
The evidence, the color surrounding her
her eyes darting around the crowd,
so as not to look at him,
but he knows, and I know
He has left his mark on her
and it will last
for a while,
but not

Lowell had a curious power, it was embarrassing,
I was back in grade school or at least my skin was.
Across a room my temperature would rise,
before I was consciously thinking of him, my body was.

Later I would see a girl do the same for me,
she had to turn away and look down.
I didn't understand until I understood.
Her cheekbones and her collarbones were my favorite,
delicate spars under the flush.
Not a delicate girl, but suddenly she seemed it,
she was fragile under this pinkened skin,
she had things going on right under her surface
that I couldn't touch, but I could get very very close.

I remember when it was me who made her skin flush. I remember this, of course, because the day was yesterday and tomorrow, and the time seems as though it were now. I can feel the exuberance in her expression, see the ludic dance in her voice, and hear the pleasure in her touch. I can see and feel and hear these things both now and from now, and the flush of her skin warms not only her self but my self as well.

I remember when it was me who made her smile appear, in the moments of waking in times hence when she spied me as her first sight and took in all that was her dawning moment of lucidity, when her eyes first focused and found their first and final point of romantic fecundity. I remember this moment as I remember all that I have seen.

The smile that brings life to my day and the gratitude for my being are self-reinforcing; they exist by their own premonitions; they bring the events that cause themselves. The flush of her skin with receipt of a gift gives way to the idea, the acquisition, the arrangement and arrival. The flush of her skin gives way to her hand, to her arm, to her touch, to her heart.

I remember all these things to come, in a mélange of memories and may bes. I remember them because she gave them to me; I remember because it was me who made her skin flush.

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