I hold Ana’s hand as we meander,
unafraid, projecting even bravery,
through dirt and pebbles to the calm river
and heed the sign of the times we cede
streams over smooth rocks.
Our voices speak for the silence in our sultry,
alluring gaze.
Ana leans in close as if to kiss,
telling me we’re better off as friends.
I shake out of my trance.
“Friends and lovers,” she said, pressing her lips to mine,
and now, I’ll never wash my lips.
She pulls her shirt over her shoulders
and shakes off her bra,
daring me to skinny dip in jeans.
Unafraid but insecure, I shed my shirt,
and we entered the chilly river,
dousing each other and snickering until we couldn’t.
Ana tugs my leg underwater as if to submerge me in her desire.
A shadow centers us with a bitter presence;
we lift our gaze.
There stands her father with a shotgun.
He spits tobacco. “I’ll pretend I didn’t see this shit because your mother would kick your—”
“Dad!” she said. “I got it.”
“Get dressed,” he said.
“Go hunt or something, Dad.” Ana waves him away like an annoying pest.
Unafraid, we wear our wet clothes and head for the car.
Not afraid of her father holding a gun to my head
and pulling the trigger with the safety on.

Twitter – @AC0040

(© 2023 AC)

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