what’s wild is the memory i have of sitting on the curb outside my mother’s house with my girlfriend who wasn’t yet my girlfriend but just my best friend & we were probably 13 or 14 & i said to her: if we get any closer we’re gonna be dating. it was a joke, said totally without irony &, well, here we are. we met when we were 11, both traumatized & afraid & growing up fast, hardened, by 12 i had already seen & heard it all. she’d seen even more than me. our brains were dysfunctional & we were dysfunctional & she came to live at my mother’s house at 15 & that’s where i kissed her for the first time, in the living room with the window looking out on the curb where i said we couldn’t be any closer. i think about the violence we lived under, the codependency & obsessiveness that grew from it, the way we decided from the very beginning that the only place we were safe was with each other, how that wasn’t always true but it didn’t matter, the whole weathered storm easing out into this place: a bedroom, her sleeping next to me, the good godly night. when we were kids there was this hill we used to sit on overlooking a shitty apartment complex across from the projects where my girl used to call home. those apartments were where we were gonna live, for some reason, the main point being: together. that’s a part of the wildness of it all, that here we are in another city in a different apartment building across the street from a cropping of subsidized housing we never grew up around & somehow inexplicably quite impossibly together. i remember that girl on the curb & she doesn’t even know, about sharing the too small beds or that night at the lake or the cheap rings. but she will. the universe looks out.