It fit too tight, tailored too close,
like something you wear with your hands crossed,
lips sewn shut.
I didn’t want to wait, the way I believed
my father had.
He was clean, like Christ
was supposed to make us—
though I’d steal into his bathroom while
he worked the nightshift and rifle Playboys
out from under the sink.
It was a wonder to find
sex had less to do with me
than I’d thought; she
kicked aside the curtain, saw a red rose,
while I came early and watched her face.
Then I envied my father, I envied
my parents, their garden with no names
or even metaphors for skin,
the river between the trees.