I’ll say it—the most remarkable way a man
has touched me is when he didn’t intend to, found
the heat of me on accident. I’m saying his hand
punctured the gap between our backs, rooted around
for the blanket we shared and swept my rib-ridged side.
In movies, that touch is the domino
that starts the chain, but his bed did not abide
by rules of fantasy. He touched me and, oh,
I held my breath. Waited for the regret
he never felt. My God, he touched me then slid
closer beneath the duvet, our spines close-set
arches that joined in the dark, kissing. I did
not know it then, but his fingers flexed with want
into the night. His heart at my back. Desire out front.
Copyright © 2023 by Taylor Byas. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 13, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.