I want the time before.
I want lips, saying nothing and then everything as they cover my body with droplets
and light every inch of my skin on fire.
Before they said
let’s stay feet and miles and months apart.
I want four eyes holding an infinite gaze into a finite space inside my expanding heart,
before they were forced to look away.
I want faces before they were covered in masks, when my face was buried in all of us,
for once, our masks discarded.
I want the high
before a virus and death and fear managed to sober even the strongest intoxication of us running through my veins.
I want my unwashed hands grabbing fistfuls of hair and sweaty skin and the fullness of life while housed between this city’s most famous haunted walls
before I had to wash it all off,
twenty seconds at a time.
I want the life before this after-life, where we all seem to be living as ghosts.
Because none of us are really here
as we were before.