The First Time

The first time he saw the sun, he thought it was God. He stood in his nakedness and stared at the glowing disk until it recreated itself everywhere he looked, like a bright hole in everything.

The first time he saw her, she was standing next to a tree where serpents coiled around the large, solid branches when they sought safety and not the afternoon sun. She was staring at the sky, as he had done that time with the sun, but what she saw he could not tell.

At the time, they lacked the words to explain any of it or themselves to one another. It was a wordless time, simpler and also more difficult.

The first time she saw him was before he saw her. She crouched behind the dense undergrowth, scarcely breathing because he was like an animal, his senses alert to danger or food or anything out of the usual in his wood. She moved only her eyes, watching him hunt a small creature, like a serpent himself all sinews and long muscle, except for the hair in places she had never considered, a covering like moss on the forest floor.

The first time they saw the moon, they were together with their naked faces against the sky and his right side pressed against her left until it was her back against the sky and they saw the universe unfold between them like fire sparking into the night.

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