Can you take me home?
    Graphic by Savannah Christensen / North by Northwestern

    I bet kissing you feels like home.

    My hands coiled in your hair,

    the twisting neon lemon sign

    of Alvin’s Island souvenir store.

    Your lips on my cheek,

    a “Hey que tal

    but slower,


    Lightly grazing my top lip,

    the espuma of a cafecito pours out into your cup,

    the moment before it burns the tip of your tongue.

    The black stubble of your cheeks

    brushing the sides of my fingertips,

    tracing the lines of I-95,

    getting lost at exit signs for Dolphin Expressways.

    Until I’m sipping summer through a golden-lined Wendy’s straw found in glove compartments,

    tasting the salt water of your mouth,

    gulping subsurface coming up for air, gasping.

    Your breath in my ear,

    a breeze rustling through palm tree leaves,

    right before they come tumbling to the pavers –

    the ones snagged from construction sites at midnight.

    I can feel the bongos from 8th Street performers drumming in my chest.

    I bet kissing you feels like

    hitting the wall of heat greeting me

    when landing in the airport after too many months gone.

    It feels like

    walking through my front door,

    met by Tahiti Island Dream and Twilight Wood scents

    and a hint of something I can’t quite bottle up.

    It’ll be sinking into my worn burnt-orange couch

    on a “Hey, sleeping beauty” kind of Sunday morning.

    Your teeth pulling my bottom lip,

    until I’m speeding up the Key Biscayne bridge,

    your hands tucking pesky strays behind my ears,

    the wind whipping back Sun In-sprayed strands from rolled down windows.

    The stare,

    your pull back and chuckle.

    The sun melting into corals and lilacs,

    the waves pulling me in.

    I’m letting my head fall back into the sticky, cotton candy-colored water.

    Your hands cradling my face.

    Kissing me.

    Kissing you.

    Tangled in the mangroves.


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