Kissing Cousins


“Los primos se exprimen”
(Cousins will squeeze each other)
Common Dominican Saying


 
We stood together at the closed gate, beyond was a thin
road and past it the broiling sea. How old were we? Our
 
pale fingers hooked into the green chain-link, our faces
almost pressing against each other. Beyond the fence 

three horses were running a figure eight: a brown mare
and her grey colt, chased by a stallion. Inching closer, we 

watched the mare and stallion separate, run a tighter loop
and stop. Prima, the terror of the colt you understood, it was

a stepfather’s gift, wrapped in foil and parchment. Inside it
was a new country, cold and shivering wet. I am told

that you loved it there, and that first times are best like this;
with someone impossible, with something colossal in the way.