Although they had warned him against her,
there was nothing untoward in her touch.
The salt of her tears drew out his skin as though
it reached back toward her.
She dried his toes with her hair, barely tickling;
no one could accuse her of teasing,
her grave solemnity undoing any laughter at its source,
demanding understanding, willing complicity.
He thought it was worth a try, to let them know
how much they had meant to him,
their company, their frank, dumb friendship,
before he was shorn like a lamb for the slaughter.