Friends remember things. She knows
I can’t drink white, turns up with red;
You’re looking great. You’re getting laid. Cough up.

Old story. I was sixteen when I shucked my shell
and, grateful for my wings, set half-clear eyes
on that first being; squawked for LOVE.

That’s what it’s like, the first time.
Like a duck to water, mate. And since then?
Sometimes feathers, sometimes chains

and always aftermaths.
Some light as eiderdown
some strong enough to break an arm.