I remember the night I snuck out of the house
to meet you on the corner of 14th and Pearl.
The sweet scent of autumn still hung in the air,
and the the moon was a crisp apple, sliced wide open.
We found an abandoned house to get out of the rain,
and took big swigs of whiskey from a bottle I'd stolen
from my father's liquor cabinet. I pretended it didn't burn,
and tried to act strong, but it hurt like ****,
and my heart beat like an open road.
I remember spreading out our jackets like red carpets,
smoking clove cigarettes, and laughing at all the peasants
in our small town of liquor stores and **** shops,
graveyards, and broken dreams; we believed we could
create our own world of royalty just by being young.
I remember when I reached out my hand to touch you,
it felt like crossing an ocean, and I held my breath,
afraid you might pull away.
I remember your freckles, and your smile,
and how you smelled of strawberry, laundry soap, and smoke.
Your eyes shined like polished turquoise
beneath the slatted streetlight.
I remember you closed your eyes,
and that your lips tasted like spearmint,
and your tongue was still sticky with whiskey
as it circled my own,
and I was thankful this wasn't your first kiss,
even though it was mine.
I remember the sound of cicada sizzling in the underbrush,
and the power lines humming,
and how all the clocks in the world stopped ticking,
so that we'd stay this raw forever.
When I pulled away from you,
I was afraid to look you in the eyes,
afraid it might turn me to stone or dust;
I looked at the candy wrappers on the floor,
and spun the empty bottle of whiskey
until it pointed toward the door.
I remember laughing,
and trying to stay quiet,
when we heard a car approaching,
the slick tires sliding across wet concrete;
I was so afraid it was somebody coming
to take us away from each other,
the way time pulls everyone in different directions,
including us. Still, I want you to know,
It's been years since I saw you last,
but the streetlight, the moon, the laughter,
and that kiss, are still standing
on the corner of 14th & Pearl.