Before (C) Mike Kimera 2007

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.

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