On summer days when I was small, and my family took me out to climb mountains,
The heat would cause my friend to strip his torso bare, and I would follow suit,
Unaware of the mountains that would grow out of me,
Or the mountains I would face when I grew taller.
In my teenage years my love and I would peel back layers,
Moving towards the private parts we’d both been taught to shelter,
Layering our views so that we sheathed ourselves away,
Our clothing collecting on the floor like the years.
Whilst we spread ourselves out, shadows lifted, we found the air cold.
Searching for more to peel away, we realised that instead of taking things off,
We started to put things on; judgements, decisions, accusations.
Before we decided to hide away from each other’s eyes.
On parting, I was left with a chasm burning under my skin,
Disfiguring my chest as I spaced discussions with tea and poems,
Spilling out thoughts from clifftops, screaming into the winds,
Realising how much of myself had become buried.
Meticulous, obsessively, I began to lay bare the moments
Thoughts and feelings that had misplaced themselves
Until I realised I didn’t worry about undressing in front of you;
You’d already seen the most private parts of me.