The “Just” in “Just Friends” is Misleading
by Lynn Houston
It should have always been like this.
The effortless presence, the light
airiness of ease with ourselves, the complicit
nods to our restless aging bodies.
Tonight you tell me of snow illumined
by your headlights, lighting up the ride
home, the snow that will keep us all
from work tomorrow, guiding us,
even now as it starts to fall
more steadily, to the important things:
fire, wine, each other.
Snow never errs in the quiet
it obliges us to value.
I used to think of you as hands and fingers
to fondle me, imagine your lower lip that lights up
like the moon when you’ve grown a beard
resting on my nipple after tongue touch,
how you would sound, the gentle pitch
of pleasure cries I wanted to wring from you.
You were exotic then, an unknown.
Now, you are one of few constants.
A reliable satellite in orbit around the shifting
tilt and gravity of my daily planet.
Instead of that delicious, faint hairline
above the waist-band of your jeans,
I dream that one day when my father
inevitably dies, you are there with me,
holding my hand in the graveyard.
More than a hundred orgasms, I need
this new thing that we’ve become.
Lynn Marie Houston’s poems have appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, Poydras Review, Hartskill Review, Alyss, and others. She is the author of The Poet’s Playground, a book of poetry exercises for beginners. After graduating from Hartwick College and spending time in Switzerland on a Fulbright grant, Houston earned her Ph.D. from Arizona State University. She now lives in a vintage Airstream camper on the East Coast. When she isn’t teaching English, she tends her honeybees and kayaks local rivers.