you came quietly into my world, sidling into the kitchen to put your arms around my waist
Ell, can I wash this? like we’d been married all our lives
five am not once but twice, you and me beside the surprise of the day
and that might be what I remember whenever wherever the sun breaks
over your cheeks, your ginger streaks –
two thousand and eight shades of summer –
but you should know I see the blue too,
two thousand five hundred and a handful nights later.

we have blended as we’ve grown, colours above and between like fingers ‘twixt fingers on knees
and I don’t love the green any less than those aureate days, those navy midnights
our treetop stretching up and out, branched and twigged but blessedly bound at the roots, sharing the same meals.

Nicholas Downs, if my heart for you is a tortoise shell
let every inch be inked with the gradient of our ascension
the angle of my floating when you speak my name.