In the upstairs bathroom,
I practiced with paint —
eyes, cheeks, lips.

The New York summer
dragged on, humid and misty.

Cousin’s grunge bands
jammed out the angst we all felt
in those days

Below, in my uncle’s driveway,
tools beat a rhythm of freedom.braids-n-beltloops
I knew the words to your song instinctively.

Your anthem pulled me to the window   .
You had your head in the engine of a GMC.
Your hands, young, but capable
manipulated horsepower and torque
and the promise of the American highway.

I could feel the heat of your body
two stories up–
steam through cotton.

The universe told me what to do,
but I turned back to my reflection,
tamed my wildness into a prim braid,
blotted my lip gloss
and only thought about
slipping my fingers
through your belt loops
and turning you around to face me.