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the beach: my sanctuary for as long as i can remember
a white towel shields my face as i tan
suddenly the light dims,
the air grows a few shades colder
there’s that smell of watermelon again —
when i open my eyes,
there’s no harsh glare from the sun
only you
i saw you here and wanted to say hi 
seems like we’re always running into one another 

three, two, one
i clear my throat
actually, i was just about to — 
think fast
— make frosé at my house 
care to join me? 

i hold my breath
a grin breaks across your face
sure, i’d love to 
my palms are clammy as we walk to my car,
a brand-new jeep i got just two weeks ago
a graduation present from my parents —
or an apology gift for missing it

top down,
sun on our arms
sweet ride, you observe,
envy and judgment absent from your tone
i tell you the story as we pass manicured hedges:
a love story
an origin story
my great-grandfather: a successful investor in oil and railroads
my great-grandmother: a socialite with a discerning eye for art
me, once named after him,
now named after her
last name still his —
no amount of hormone therapy can change family legacy
not that i’m ashamed of my past
you rest your hand on your chin,
gaze alert
maybe you want to know me as much as i want to know you

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