Chastity

by Jared Pearce

The scrub juniper exploding dark green life
and shadow around us, over us; the night hours when
even crickets have stopped dancing. Curiosity,
the eternal in another’s body―sacred

individuality beyond touch―like the narrow
between clavicles. We treated each
other like temples, proselytes
approaching the holy. My nervousness

in sustaining distance and desire since in some months
I’d leave to try religion―I always wanted
to be a religious man. But I’m divining
the lonely freshness of a second skin moving

independently in synch―I’m sure snakes
are used to this―and hearing a voice say
wait, and walking home by moonlight and speaking
of rightness. I imagine, after a belly-full

of knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve spoke
of this―justification for wanting
to be so near another human person connected
to an idea of falling―

In love and engaged, Making out in the old pickup
in Prescott, spring, parched for each other
over months of abstinence. Dizzy communion, our bodies
signs, we walked along the cemetery

where a bleached tombstone Gabriel spooked
us back to the comfort of the radio and reckless
driving. Laughing at ourselves we stopped only twice
on the road home to straighten make-up,

hairdos, excuses. Her mother only slightly noticed
the rosy flush at our throats in the morning.
We still smirk about that―the funny, moral
wriggling of bring caught in love.