She is half woman, half girl
half dinosaur (inside joke)
her laughter is infectious:
it crackles, it starts little fires and burns down forests
I can smell her hair after a shower when I bike behind her
like the scent of a rainforest in the valley below
She’s from Austin
which Dave pointed out is like Boulder, only “bigger, hotter, more diverse, more music, and has culture”
she gets me outside of myself, away from my work, which I both like and, don’t.
she fixes my 36 year old back with tree yoga in the cemetery on a cool unexpected sunny evening
she finds a black basket for her $40 bike
her skin is the color of a polished wood
she effing tickles me and won’t stop
she drinks out of a steel water bottle always
her iPhone has the same sacred bell ringaling and rings far more than mine
my friends judge her; my friends like her
her eyes open so wide they open others’ eyes
she sings and becomes fast friends, quickly, with my lifelong mentors and
she doesn’t mind—actually likes—learning about me
and my nostalgia, where I’ve come from and things that I love
though she’s young and acts it she’s old and wiser than I:
patient with my tight heart, my fear, my claustrophobia, she laughs at me
she doesn’t mind that I’m fighting for everything, every day, that I have nothing and could be a failure—because, unlike the others, she likes me.
I drew her last night, at The Kitchen
and though the black lines traced her tan tiger face precisely
they couldn’t capture her intimate sweet hollering love.
You can’t capture a tigress.
For Elyse, a visit home consists of eight siblings (4 brothers, 4 sisters), two deaf moms, two dogs, and…