of youth

When did I think to dream, to dare to dream,
of standing with a love, on a street, in the open,
under sunlight or moonlight, vulnerable to each other and
to a world which might cast violence upon us for
the brush of our lips, our tender embrace

My dreams have sent me to those places
where I do not have to worry about those nightmares,
pockets where it is almost possible to forget that the
dream of safety still stands out of reach for so many

That the reality of us, hands clasped,
strolling and laughing, could not happen
just anywhere, could not happen in so very many places
without serious risk

The kind of risk that two teenage girls who met
behind an orange curtain could only take because the
dreams of love had been so strong, so insistent, and
the fruition so surprising

Equally surprising is the luck
of never having to face those stones,
those nightmares.

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