“I don’t know what to call you in this language.”

And that’s what I love about words

because if I don’t have one in my repertoire

you probably do in yours

and that’s why we need each other

so desperately

and that’s why that night

in that bar in Nashville

(so close to my home and so far from yours)

when you told me

raro was the only name for me:

unusual and

odd and

quirky and

extraordinary and

queer,

I smiled.

On the days I don’t belong in English,

I have a home in Spanish.

And other days

there’s room for me in French

or Arabic

or Afrikaans

or davvisámegiella,

the language of my mother.

Beautiful friend,

our difference reminds me

there’s always room.

A cobblestone patio

and dancing shadows

café lights jostled by the wind

and you

and me

and a bottle of wine

and the flamenco

and the crickets

alive and laughing together

here in the summer night

The sky was phasing through electric purples and pulling jealously at my hair through the open windows of the Thunderbird as we raced around the curve of the road, and in the blue fields framed by black treelines and graying fences the lightning bugs flickered, stretched into lines as we flew and I marveled, laughed that we were making the jump to lightspeed, but you wouldn’t hear me over the pulse of the radio or the rush of the wind and so our hands were the only parts of our worlds that touched on the way home that night.

I’m not sure how I became twenty-seven.