(perhaps it was the thermometer but, looking back, I don't think so)
and our fevers rolled between us.
Our bones, by themselves, became an aching groan
with spooky dreams all day, every day.
Those marks, then, on the palms of my hands
I began to consider a kind of stigmata
and thrilled at the tracings of blood they left
on this woman's body
the line from breast through waist and hip
that scattered into the smear I had made around her vagina.
"Do that again," I told her.
"Do that a lot."
And panting on elbows and knees
a mask of lipstick and saliva and threads of my own semen
crawled underneath my eyes
I buried my hands inside her bedclothes,
each fist a growing evidence of fear and faith.