in 1886, Sigmund Freud employed free association;
the idea that a sick patient, terminally crippled with a nameless plague,
could list off the reasons why his bed sheets had holes in them.
paraphrased: the art of free speech.
my mouth is a gun and your name is a shooting range.
damp grass, our backs, semantics.
the psychoanalysts say we establish long-term memory
by stringing it all with prior meaning.
a flurry of sweatshirts and ripped jeans, stroking skin
in sign language only lovers speak.
hands, tongue, everything else.
Freud said that sometimes, a cigar is only a cigar.
i tell him how smoke spilled from your mouth into mine.
stale breath and gentle fingers probing, squeezing,
i trace my steps back to the night we crushed leaves into potpourri.
the scent of cold coffee permeated into the forest,
the tree roots soaking up our caffeine.
i remember you most clearly in the heartbeat between page turns.
you are full and real, the lump in my throat.
you are the holes in my bed sheets.