Our bodies are exhausted from the river.
The two of us remove our wet clothing,
khaki shorts and thin linen shirts.
We wear only our skin
and the sour scent of the Au Sable.
Before bed, I wash my nails
in the sink.
The water runs rusty, and I notice
a trout-brown beetle perched
on the porcelain.
I drown it in honeycombs
of soap and saliva, and exhale
fresh rings of minted breath on the mirror.
In a room of four beds, we have chosen
the California king. We talk about
traveling out West next summer,
as we lie on our backs underneath a
canopy of lady bugs,
plotting constellations on the knotted pine ceiling
of the cabin.
You spot Orion’s belt, but before
I can adjust my eyes, the bugs recalibrate,
and it’s the Big Dipper.
I wake before sunup, and you,
just in time to catch ladybugs in freefall,
dropping like dead leaves,
a sweet crunch between our sheets.