Before I’d fucked my first stranger because she was near and warm
Before I’d paid to fuck my first whore because she was on offer and I had an itch to scratch
Before I’d let pornography fly-post my imagination with images that break people into parts and holes
Before all that there was Cassie
Who looked at me as if
the sun rose and set on my smile,
all the heat and heart of love was at my fingertips,
I was and always would be, all she desired
Cassie, who smelt of sunshine and cotton and tasted of honey and salt
Cassie, who had thick, heavy hair that she let me lose myself in
Cassie who kissed and caressed and sighed but who wanted us to be virgins in our wedding bed
Cassie, who was more than I deserved and less than I could live with
Cassie, who I walked away from without a backward glance, refusing to acknowledge, in the soft sadness of her sobbing, my own loss.
Now I ache for the wholeness of before, itch beneath the barnacles of after and pray for the strength to close gap between who I am and who I could have become.