and forth and back in shades. Already, too soon, I find you daunting and beautiful, your hair alone, like mine, too much, twisted and sprawling on the pillow we share. Your hair. Twisted, an archetype. Between us, a six-inch space, a silence. I mopped your weeping, sweating face with my blanket 'til you said stop. Christ, all I wanted was to make you comfortable. One night, I counted the shades - different brands of bleach kits at war with each other and dyed over in red. Jesus, how I wanted to hold you to quit the shaking, your bouncing, dilated pupils, your heart from racing itself to exhaustion (on empty). Jesus, I knew even then I couldn't do a damn thing but hang on to you, and then, baby, only if you asked. And all I can do is thank you for reaching back.