photographs we didn’t take, Family Support Center, Olympia, WA: Family Album 2011-2012

Some point between the rape and the eviction I lost my libido. I stopped kissing you, slept instead on a mattress filled with mold, ears swelling to snap in a room so cold it shrouded words in steam. I love you, I said, three dissipating clouds. Our knees and elbows ached as we spooned beneath dirty comforters.

Later: a new state, a new mattress on the floor. Three this time, side by side, twin-sized plastic mattresses blue and cracked on a thinly-carpeted church basement. We slept, our child between us; strangers moaned and farted in the dark.

But even yet: they didn’t catch us, did they? The phobics, the bear. So sick sometimes we both thought I’d die, but I didn’t. We even married, remember that? I can’t remember if we kissed.

But then it rained all morning, that day between shelters; we wore wool coats donated to the church, me in rain boots one size too big that I’d found on a crooked bookcase. We waited.

I pushed you, against plate glass, cinder block. Pelvis to pelvis and chin to chin- wet wool, warm hearts beating in bone between us- I kissed you in the rain.

I love you, I said, my lips buzzing oddly from the pressure of yours. Let’s fuck right here.

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