I didn’t recognize his voice at first.

“Happy birthday,” he said.

I heard Jerusalem in his throat,

felt the cobbles beneath our

feet the one day we held hands.

My birthday is one week exactly

from the anniversary of his dad’s death.

Every time he speaks I have synesthesia—

see the Feather River in late May,

smell sunburn and sweet sweat of late afternoon,

hear Dave Matthews, oar slap on water,

feel finger on s pine. The day we kissed

he planted a seed in my chest. I’ve tried but

I’ve never managed to block the sun.