Step 1. Stay low on the radar for years on end,
not really talking but always there.
(When did you even meet?
Step 2. Be “the older brother’s friend.”
Boys hang out with boys.
Awkwardly long hair and perpetual
acoustic guitar, and all.
Step 3. At sixteen, after haircuts and
lots of growing up, have one conversation
about music for three freaking hours
straight, no tangents.
Step 4. Paint a mural together.
The ground color is sandy, it is earthy,
it is not poop do not call it—
call it poop.
Step 5. Little things now. Chinese takeout,
the Psych series finale, Sara
Bareilles, stickers, fundraisers,
bowling, lyrics, books.
Step 6. Go to Africa. Africa!
Sing in the fields with the goats and pigs
and puppies; together learn to love
the Ugandan rain, sunsets, and people.
Step 7. You’re in. You have been
for a while. But just to make sure, pretend
you’re her mom and pester her
Step 8. Stay up on that radar. That’s it.
Just stay there.