Where you place your breath

Determines what you see rise and fall

When stretched out all cat-like

Lithe on your bed. And he crawls to

Touch the tattoo sprawling on

Your left hip—no, to press his hand

Onto it like a sacred symbol, he is

Gifting you with his life and warmth.

There is moonlight and your skin

Flexes and is pale and radiant and

The black snake writhes around your

Torso, a protector, a reminder.

"Did it hurt?" he asks, with his

Naive little questions—does a million

Bee stings hurt, you stupid boy?

But he breathes slowly and then you

Are breathing slowly, your heart

Matches his; you are asleep before

You know it.