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Because You Asked
by Margaret Gish Miller

The first time I stripped
for my husband–well
it wasn't wallpaper.

We stood on granite,
a boulder, in the middle of the
American River, 1965. I

wore an orange swimsuit
with blossoms pinned
in my hair. I was

not his wife then; we were
becoming lovers. He had
borrowed a key to this

private beach, bringing
us here one Sun-
day afternoon.

Of course, just 18
with my small boy back
home, I worried

like a woman rife
with scars. We balanced our-
selves on the river boulder–

he peeling my orange
swimsuit, we seeing

my blossoms floating
in the river's current.

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