We drive home from the lake, sand in our shoes

Keetje Kuipers

the dart of fish faint at our ankles, each
shuttered BBQ shack a kudzu flash

in my side mirror. Pleasure has become 
the itch of a mosquito bite between

my shoulders, and your rough thumb on my thigh
a tickle gentle as turtles bobbing

in Sea-Doo oil slick and cellophane scraps. 
How many years did I suffer the loves

that gave too much freedom and not enough 
tenderness? Let me be like the man we

saw outside of Notasulga, hands cuffed
behind his back, cigarette in his mouth,

and you be the sheriff, leaning in close,
cupping the sweet flame to my waiting face.