January 2006 /Volume Seven / Issue One
Andrew Yves Aulino

Those times in bed with her were strange.
It was like crawling prone
across a forest floor at night
dragging a flashlight we didn’t deign to turn on.

Otherwise harmless
roots and knots and sticks
are a terror when they’re hidden and
can snap up from the dark
to cut your face and your palms.

Just like them, our bodies were the same old dull things
until I thought of how
she was my mother’s new husband’s daughter and
she of how I was her father’s new wife’s son;

then, our furtive rubbing entered into
a near-mystical realm; a hand shoved
into still-buttoned jeans transgressed
an unthinkable border and thus separated

us from our contemporaries who were still groping away
at the movies, in their car, at parties. I let my fingers
sneak under her bra and whispered, “But—you’re my sister now,”
while she unzipped my pants protesting

our filial relationship, too. This danger untroubled
by the possibility of mixed blood (or whatever else)
kept our pulses up and our breath in ragged sips,
lest all of it be found out and made real like

a suddenly spilled glass of water.
For that, I kept my eyes fixed on her blue ones
that looked nothing like mine and listened
for a knock on the door that wouldn’t come.