There's a deep valley lying between us. Your eyebrows furrow into long caterpillar question marks when I tell you this, squashed between the sheets of our shared mattress, and my mouth opens and closes like a fish as I fumble for an answer, an explanation, a way of catching all my thoughts together and handing them to you in a net, so that you'll understand me. But you only fish for compliments, and in the end, I find it easier to kiss you, and so I do and we both forget about my transgression into geography.

Later, I take it up again, but only because the veins on your arms remind me of mountain streams. You grin when I mention that, and you whisper "mountains" into my ear, gliding my fingers across your body. When you shiver like that, your skin trembles between different shades of brown and I think I'm mapping contours and so you lie still. Flat out, like a plain in the grasslands, but when I stretch out against you, you rustle the sheets and throw a pillow at me. You. Do. Not. Want. To. Be. tableland, and I have to nibble your toes and tickle your stomach until you smile again. When you do, I don't say that your lips, parted like pale crescents in the afternoon light, remind me of oxbow lakes. Instead, I fall asleep to your heartbeat, a steady rhythm of consonants bubbling under your skin. In the evening, we talk about literature, and you find that more romantic.