“Let’s do a challenge. We’ll write poems. What topic would you like?”
“There’s this line along your inner thigh. It curves inward splendidly, and the sun caresses the shadows there.”
“You can’t write about that.” she’d reprimanded.
“Why not? There are little hairs there, barely there, and I can almost feel them brushing against my cheek.”
“Stop. Be serious. Here, choose between these three topics: ADHD, Heaven, or Salamanders.”
I stared, blinking. “What about chickens?” I’d suggested, spotting a book about chickens with odd plumage on the bookstore shelf.
She didn’t reply.
The sun was still drifting in the window, coveting her, and still lighting up that small, inward curve on her inner thigh. She’d tried to cover it up, switching positions, fidgeting, though unaware, and I’d wondered if that spot was getting warm from my thoughts. I’d wondered if I might make it hot.
She peered at me over her reading glasses whenever she’d hear me stop typing, and whenever her thigh would become warm. I’d caught her fanning herself, discreetly.
Music was piped in through the bookstore’s speaker system. Flamenco guitars played. I’d imagined us touring Mexico, shopping in dust-road villages, buying turquoise silver and wood-inlay guitars. She speaks Spanish, I’d remembered. We’d drink tequila, and dance, and make love during Mexico’s hot evenings, and I’d trace the curve of her inner thigh with my tongue, placing a cactus-tattoo upon her skin with each nibbling kiss.
Old stuff, tho by some miracle I only changed one word.