I am 19. Somewhere between Christmas and the turning of the year we sit in the hallway of my apartment, me in a dress, you all in black, both of us smoking cigarettes and shivering from the cold. You find a blanket – no, a towel – to cover my bare legs and we talk deep into the night about music, art, poetry, death, life, love. Somewhere in the watches of the night you look at me, eyes full on me, and say “I want to learn from you.”

You slept on my couch that night, and in the morning left with a stack of my books. Five years later I walked through an airport and heard your voice and something inside me seized up tight.

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