“Preoccupied” As a boy playing on my father’s boat I cursed like a sailor, but my mother Never made me put soap in my mouth. I Only felt burdened by furrowed brow and clenched jaw— Long past, but solidly in mind. Now there is you, and I miss you when I shower. The smell of the soap I use as an excuse to touch you Envelopes me, reminds me, this basic solution that touches my lips by accident as you were wont to do, Of your hips, of your raised arm Brushing wet wisps behind a shoulder So your body could assimilate To the occupation of my hands—still clutching, Slippery, for as long as I could Prolong my desires. I taste the smell, Solidly in mind, Slippery in hand, Salty, bittersweet, unforgotten, But is it unforsaken? My taking of you, my desire of having you, Not to own like something tucked into a pocket, But of wanting you to come with me Everywhere, always— Was it true? Nothing can make me mind my mouth, Now that soap’s my spark, Memory’s my flame, Fire on my mind.