Sunflower Road

when Kiawe changed her name to Kiawe,
I forgot instantly about the river
and the tent we set up there,
the love we tried all night to make

our retreat to separate corners
a world of wrinkled tarp in between us,
like siblings on their last vacation

I forgot about the lightswitch panel
she’d stick notes in, for me
in the abandoned house on
the side of the highway where

we’d meet when we wanted to drown
in the eyes of someone who
knew that alternate universe of

love. and I forgot all our kisses
and I forgot her brother who I
taught to paint with oils and ink

and her sister and the pink princess-land
where she slept and read
young adult novels too simple for her

I forgot the moment she said I love you—
the time we drove without stopping from Denver to Lawrence
to make it to class, or when our rain-mottled arms
wrapped around each other
in the moon’s spotlight

she’d twist them into bows and spit them at me,
the cherrystems bouncing off my shirt leaving
the tiniest trace of juice and saliva by

my collar; and I’d want her to twist
me into any shape she could.

before she was Kiawe she was Christina.

once, somewhere in between lives
she was simply mine. I tried not to forget that

But yesterday I did.

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