Without so much as a whisper, the sun started to come up. Low at first, not even grazing the horizon and giving the sky a diffuse baby-blue glow, then all at once, boring through the trees like molten gold dripping through grating in a foundry.

Lara and I had been sitting on the front porch swing, sipping from glasses of cool water, the glasses sweating against our fingertips. We had been talking in hushed tones about the summer as though it were already gone, as though it had already slipped through our fingers like so many lovers, unrequited or otherwise. I wasn't tired, not one bit, and neither was she. She had a glint in her eye, a fierce intent to cause mayhem and havoc upon the sweet sweet summer, ready to take it down like a gazelle. I knew how she felt, and though my body felt heavy my mind sprang and leapt, flames licking at the roof of my skull. It was the feeling of being young, the inexplicable need to Do and Be. It crackled and popped and hissed through our veins as the interminable heat struck pockets of water, and I could feel that this was going to be a good one.

Then the sun was up, and gravity started tugging at my mental processes and my eyelids started to droop. When Lara saw this, she smiled at me. She grabbed me by the hand and led me up, walked me back through the house up to bed. My arms and legs twittered with the restless energy of weary stimulation, which no amount of stretching could remedy. Only the sound, sweet medicine of sleep. In our bedroom, she closed the lights. We made a soft, gentle love, the kind that made me pay attention to everything, but with no focus on the ultimate goal, on climax. Just a passing, keen awareness. A transcendental concentration both honed and drifting. I noticed the stubble on her legs, noticed her soft but slightly chapped lips against mine, the softness of her pubic hair against mine, and the way she gently tapped her fingers against my back when I withdrew from every gentle thrust.

The barrier between wakefulness and sleep was a thin and fluid one, but when sleep came, it was filled with the scents of saffron and jasmine.