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Leigh May 2015
The tide collects it all by morning;
The drama and the ***** napalmed across the path.
The scenes at second warning for most had been swept away
Before they wiped the sand from their shoes.

Empty cans of Dutch and Tuborg slouched on the dunes
Are tight-lipped about the Velvet Strand's secret ecosystem;
An underground microcosm;
A peripheral cluster of seething emotions drowned.

Memories of those years - although some expired,
The vestiges take pride of place - hold a cosmic clump of smells,
Tastes, firsts, goosebumps, hangovers, and ends.
I never before understood what I was holding on to.

Winters down in the shelters nearly killed us but we
Huddled through the cold, lit cheap firelogs and
Found our oblivion. It didn't take much for me to develop  
A stagger - tolerance for a lot of things was learned later.

I narrowly recall my first taste of poor judgement and
Hazy-headed stargazing. Six cans of Stonehouse
Dry cider - most of which ended up on the hillside -
Was a ridiculous endeavour that will always be sublime.

At the heart of it, I did it to impress a girl;
The one every boy has or has had that sticks;
Who holds your firsts and your hands and makes
Things simple if only for her complexity;

The one that never fails to bring upon digression when
Pens are involved. Revisiting reminiscence on a jarring note,
I think of my Junior Cert exams and a cross-dressed man
Exposing himself to two uniformed boys behind the public toilets.

This one doesn't stir the joy of the others.
This one I wish would dissolve;
An ****, awkward blotch on a childhood.

Luckily fondness trumps disgust when recalling that place
Because of sunrises and sunsets absorbed from the roof.
The Summers spent jumping the gap and drowning in the
Heat of the sun were everything.

The fugitive sand between our toes and under finger nails
Became an accepted nuisance, a part of the territory;
A lingering grain or two to drag you back.
I miss waking up with the smell of last night's faded fire.
.


Some weird and wonderful memories of my teenage years.

100 points if you catch the Derek Mahon reference.


.
Deb Jones Dec 2018
First Candy
My mouth still remembers
The sweetness on my tongue
I was three
It was a candy aptly named
A “Bit-O-Honey”
It’s still a favorite

First Near Death
Our home was on fire
I was five
My older sister and I
Ran to my mother’s room
She hid under the bed
I hid behind the door
My mother truly
Used herculean strength
To move a propane tank
Beside the window
To get to us

First Secret
My brother

First Authority
I remember the day
I realized I had a parent
One that controlled my actions
And punished too
The day I felt fear
I was three or four
And climbed under the house
So far in. Like a mouse
No adult could reach me
The grownups pried up the floor
I was comforted
My older brother was spanked
(Irish Twin)
He was only 11 months older than I was

First Butterflies
I knew he liked me
A light skinned black boy
Every time I stuck my head out
The school bus window
He did too.
So he could see me.
His sweet little face
Carried in my heart forever.
Even though we never
Exchanged even one word
I was six

First Male Touch
Sodomized
Adult male
Son of my mother’s best friends
11 surgeries
And a entire school year

First Fight
My sister stole clothes
Off the line of our nearest Neighbors
A mile away
Unique looking jeans
And a blouse
She wore them to school
The next day
The girl confronted
Her on the bus
I had to fight the girl
Because we were not
A family of thieves
Just a family that had thieves

First ******
I fainted

First Kiss
Charles.
He was fourteen
I was thirteen
His hands cupped my cheeks
As he lowered his lips to mine
The flick of his tongue
Was a surprise
He wrote me for several years
Beautiful love letters
I would hide them

First Thrill
On the rooftop of a speeding car
Hanging by my fingertips
On to the rooftop
Where it met the windshield
Another boy.
He was nineteen to my thirteen
He kissed me at 50 mph
My brother was driving

First Public Lie
I went door to door
Asking people to donate
Money to buy mice
For Cancer research
I fed my siblings that week
I was twelve

First Shame
I brought home a girl
From school
To stay the night.
Even though I thought
Our house looked ok
My father came home
And said
“Aren’t you ashamed?”
And right then I saw our lives
Through the eyes of another
And my father was right
She told everyone at school
What we did and didn’t have.

First Stroke
A hard punch to my temple
So was the second
And third
Fourth
5th
...

First Pride
Teaching myself to drive
Three on the tree
In a 47 ford
With a chain steering wheel
Glued to the steering column.

First Baby
She’s in my purse
Wrapped in pillowcases
In the ground

First Beg
Please let me come stay with you momma.
“No”

First True Love
No other love came close
To the feelings flowing
Through me
As I held my first son
And the second
Then the third

First Panic
Seeing my four year old son
As I raced down the street
To the woman racing
Toward me holding my child
Bloodied and unconscious
In her arms
My throat closed on screams

First Adult Love
I had loved others before him
But he taught me
How to be cherished
He painted my name
And the date on his wall
In letters taller than me
And he sealed the wall
And built cabinets
That will never be moved
We love each other still

First Motorcycle Ride
My thighs cradling his hips
The feel of his hand
Caressing my calves
At every stoplight
Silently falling in love

First Professional Pride
My career
The wall of framed degrees
I will turn away a personal compliment.
But never a compliment
About my accomplishments

First Pets
I always poured my heart
And tears
Into and unto my dogs
Angel, Benji, Gizmo, Baby
Dobie, Mandy, Cheona
Nora, Jackie, Gus, Callie
So many, many more.

First Drugs
Marijuana more than a few times
Hash once
Formaldehyde (***), Juice
Did once.
So many terrifying hallucinations
******* once

First Emotional Pain
I told my husband
We needed to see a counselor
As soon as possible
He refused.
He didn’t understand
How serious it all was
Suddenly serious
I left this man that I still love
Two weeks later

First Heartsick Pain
I told a man I loved him
He didn’t tell me he loved me
Until a year to the day
We first met
He broke something
Inside me that year

First *** with a Younger Man
He was done, I wasn’t
He moaned for me
To help me out
I opened one eye in a slit
His moaning turned to panting
I think he watched a lot of ****

First Time I said No
And meant it.
I was supposed to pick up
Prints from a Christmas party
He was naked
And drug me around his house
I still had my purse
On my shoulder
As he came all over my dress

First Dance Trophies
West coast swing
East coast swing
Two-Step
10-Step
Schottishe
Dancing the “Neon Moon” naked

First Disillusionment
The man I married at fourteen
Was having *** with a woman
Who asked me to babysit
Her kids that night
I did. I watched her two children.
He reeked of her perfume.

First Song
Always and Forever
By the Heatwave
Our song you said
How young we were

First Stage Fright
I gave a performance at school
It was a great hit
I was ashamed
I published the story about it
Twenty-five years later
It was a great hit

First Justice
Was no justice at all
Attacked on my patio
Saved by a neighbor
He was out the next week
About the same time
The swelling went down
On my “cauliflower” ear

First Adult Stage Fright
I took a summer off
Of my medical career
And DJ’d at a different club
During days of the week.
When no one had requests
I was required to sing.
It’s what I was hired to do.
Especially the piano bars
In San Francisco

First Deaths
My Brother
My Father
My Niece
My Mother
My Sister
It feels like a first each time

First Songs
Drops of Jupiter
By Train
From my sons to me.
Wild Horses
By Jewel
From me to my sons

So many firsts.
We are destined to repeat them
Only some of them
Are worthy of repeating
May Mercy spare us
On some Seconds
When I was little
We never went to the beach,
Or the lake,
Or the river
In fact the very idea that,
Anything was larger than the creek behind my house
Was foreign to me  

I knew it existed,
But I didn’t really…
I’d never seen it

But when I did, I still remember the fear  
Walking up to edge of the cool water
The grit of the sand
The heat of the sun
The smell of fish
The knowledge that the waves could pull me in

Take me away  

But the thing that stays with me the most
Is the feeling
I felt calm
I felt at peace
I never knew that
Never understood it anyway

I could have stood there for hours
Just staring out at the endlessness
Knowing that there was something on the other side of that
Something else that I could see
It made me realize how small I was
It made me realize how big I was

I guess that’s the beginning

I went back,
Searching
For that feeling again
I returned to very spot
Same time of day
Same day of the year
But it wasn’t the same
Something’s was missing

Maybe I just needed a different beach
Maybe I don't need a beach
But I still kept searching
Looking around
Questioning if I’ll ever feel so small again
Someday
Somehow
I’d feel that again
That endlessness
That serenity
That hope

But if that was the only time
I wish I had taken more
Just a few seconds
To really memorize it
To really embrace it
Before I ran off

I hiked up a mountain side
The rough rocks digging into my hands
The leaves providing shade
The nutty, floral scent on the wind
Then there at the top
The sun set below the horizon
And then that feeling arose once again

And I knew it wasn’t endlessness
I felt that day
Rather I was

Complete
kaden May 2015
we had a lot of firsts together,
and i'll have a lot more,
but our firsts will always be my favorite.
-kb
Grace Dec 2015
Maybe this is what trust is
Your scorching hands
Searing my shoulder blades
“I could if I wanted to”
Turned my insides gray

Thirteen year old skin
Stretched thin
Ached to peel away
Where your fingers had played

I was an instrument
But that’s not how I preform
I can only make symphonies now
Alone

I loved you
With every pulse behind my skin
Family
Blood didn’t have to make the bond
My protector
Becomes the predecessor to all my fears

If you’d press your ear against my chest
A reverberation of no’s would pound your eardrum
Freshly thirteen
Stolen firsts
I can never right again

“Don’t act like you don’t want it”
But it was you
Who mastered in pretend
Every word I write makes you more and more fictional.
A Nov 2015
I still have that bottle of Jack you never finished
(Don't worry, I finished it for you)
And that empty bottle of beer you left by my bedside the night you took one of the last firsts that I had
And now that you've left
I'm starting to see similarities between myself and the bottles
Empty
Maybe I keep them around for like minded company
Empty

Or maybe I keep them around to remind me of your heart
(like all firsts, you
may bet)
it hurts        (but
through the second, third, fourth and nth)


time
(it does the) hurts
all the more,     just
to make it


perfect; to seem as though

    magic


my heart    (could be red
not for)

it bled
for you


more    (for it is
     more)    than


a tatoo
Azaria Sep 2018
you move me
the way
music moves you
the vibrations
on the chords
of  your guitar
tell me how
your day went:
spilled lemonade
on your favorite sweatshirt
and 3 bonus points
on a clicker quiz
i'm not caught
in the essence of firsts
like 30 extra minutes
to kiss you in
real time
your dark features and
unfaltering movements
evolve like
the sounds of me loving
you
composed of your stiff-fingered
electricity and a continuation
of all the good
things
Arianna Jan 7
Eyes averted,
Dark and downcast,
Full and flickering with firelight,
Ears brimming,
Echoing with the ethereal songs
Of angels, hymns
Of liberation ⸺

How many times
Have I gazed, like you,
In this way
Upon the candle,
Wishing myself to dust
Or to smoke,
Or even to the wanton insatiability of brimstone:
Raging
Devouring
Twisting
Unbroken
Breath of veneration!

Washed asunder, floating
On waves of strange emotion:
Tears thunder, gushing torrents
Of poison,
Steaming black humors of malaise
From the hardened recesses of my heart;
Alms of sorrow and rejuvenation,
Laid in reverence on the altar of autumn leaves,
In genuflection
Upon the softness of the Earth
Where she catches my body
Felled, brought to its knees
But an arm's length above the resting place of wildflowers
Where I shall return
Come sundown
Swallowed in the brilliance of fire
Floating down
In droplets of scarlet
Light
To stain the snow-white lilies
Bursting now from my toes,
From the soles
Of my feet.

Now from my lips
Ousting
The weeds of stagnant silence
Blossoming
Ivory peals
In the petals
Of songs
(For there are still songs!)
As yet unsung
To sing...

Now from my palms,
Turned in supination
Towards the Sun,
Raised
In supplication of forgiveness
For my prideful unworthiness,
In the wide-eyed hope of a
Child
Who firsts beholds the Light,
Banishing the darkness of the womb
From its eyes
As now that Light
Sears the image of the world
Out from mine,
That Who gazes down
With such glances of golden warmth
Ringed infinitely with blinding halos of healing
Might deign to kiss
The fingers of one
Low as a sparrow
And lower,
For the sparrow soars
Where this leaden body could not rise,
Could not
With eyes dark
Made still darker
By their shame before the Sun,
In itself
Nurture wings
Of its own
To fly...
"The Repentant Magdalene" (c.1635) and its sister painting "Magdalen(e) with the Smoking Flame" (c. 1640) by Georges de la Tour.

Jordi Savall - "Cristobal de Morales: Officium Defunctorum - Missa pro Defunctis - II. Invitatorium"
She was my classic first love,
a 60's Gidget, cute as a button
big dimples and ribbons
in her hair. Charming and
the life of every party.
When she was happy her
whole face reflected it,
especially her smiling
iridescent green eyes.

Together we shared most of
our firsts, talked of the future
and beyond, but like all sweet
dreams, real life intervened.

Many years have passed, yet
strong memories remain and
every once in a while within
a vivid dream of deep slumber,
she and I are again sixteen,
enchanted and in first love.

Waking is always an unwanted
intrusion.
Memories and dreams, what would
we do without them?
Jeannery Jan 21
Hearing it makes me wonder,
How do I love that heart?
Will it make my heart apart?
Will it make me suffer?

I met you with that heart
We are the same
We're not the firsts
And it's hard




--jeannery a.


As katy perry said, "Comparisons are easily done once you've had a taste of perfection" and that hurts the most and that's just so true. How do we really love a secondhand heart?
Pau Feb 2017
i will never forget the day you came back,
the day you decided to give me another shot --
the day that sealed my fate.
to make up for all you and i have lost,
in fear
and in lack of faith.

looking back, i wish i had not left.
walking away from you was --
and still is,
my biggest regret.

i could have spent all my firsts with you,
and we could've grown together.
i could have had more time with you,
if i had just been more brave.

for all that should have been,
i am sorry.
for all that will be,
i am here,
and i love you.
Izzy Apr 2017
It hits me in moments
   sometimes in the silence of the night
   sometimes in the bustle of the day
   others in the middle of a laugh

The truth?
          She's dead
                   gone
She won't hear about the long list of firsts that will eventually happen
                                   first kiss
                                   first date
                                   first love
My only sister is gone and I am alone

That word, suicide, has been forever changed
        Every time I hear it I flash to that cold December night
                                                to everything I saw
I have no questions
My day goes on
        but I know there's that little empty hole hidden behind a filing cabinet in my mind
Should it be bigger?
It will never be filled

If I could ask one thing,
     It wouldn't be why or even comeback

It would be...
                    
Are you happy where you are?
Anne Aug 2018
loved     -    y o u       -    kissed      
                                  
                             &

                       cried for  
                            you
                            too.­
alexa Jun 2018
we’ve struggled a bit
these past five years,
but we haven’t quit-
through the pain and the tears.
through the darkness and sorrow,
secrets & firsts,
the hope of every tomorrow
helps melt away the hurt.
through feelings like pastel
and feelings like charcoal
you made life feel less like Hell
and me feel more whole.
cause you know some days i’m lacking,
pieces missing from my dome,
the days i feel like just packing
up and going home.
the days i’m afraid to look in the mirror
cause i might not recognize what i see,
you’re there to quell my fear or
just be there for me.
so thanks for all the lovely moods
and words that build me towers,
you’re the one person i know who’s
most deserving of flowers. :)
can’t exactly give you a gift so.... happy bday bud :))
Raihah Mior Jan 2017
I am still
In deep thought-
Wondering, how easy I’ve let you slipped
From my hands
And from my heart

--

Let’s take a step back
And recount the moments
Recollect the memories
Reminisce the good old days
And reassess this overnight decision I’ve impulsively taken

Let’s take a few more steps back
And remember the first time I met you
Back in high school
The first time I said hi
And thought you were cute

You were a plethora of my firsts
The first boy bestfriend I’ve ever had
The first boy to ever ask me out on dates
The first boy to talk to me on a daily basis
The first boy I ever liked…. Who actually liked me back

Undoubtedly,
You were my first love

I thought I loved you like I’d never love anyone else
I told you everything
Wrecked these walls I’ve sheltered from for so long
Just to hand you this little fragile heart of mine
Through the cracked linoleum and the broken glass windows
I gave you a golden ticket and an aerial view
To my world

And after two years,
In the end,
You did decide to return the favour
You trusted me enough
To let me enter this mystical world of yours
These two dimensions you seem to always get lost in
Those two roads diverged in a wood
That you can never seem to wrap your head around
and choose

As I write this,
I start to realise why and how I stopped loving you

I think I got tired
Of trying to pull you up
As you let yourself drown in the seas
of your undecided thoughts

I stopped loving you
The moment you say “I’m going to change”
But the next day you woke up
You put on the same old clothes
You took the same route
To the place that led you exactly back to where you once were

I got sick of
Saying the same things
Over and over again
Asking you to change
Only to expect nothing in return

Truth be told
As similar as we are as people
We live in worlds too distant apart
Your world is too foreign for me, too fast and scary
Whereas my world is too small and tightly guarded, all child’s play

As much as I’d want to love you
I can’t seem to do so
And if I could, I'd say this a million times to you

I truly am sorry.
Didn't think i'd make a poem out of this hahah. It's just something that's been bubbling up inside my head for too long.
Anyway, this is for Z; The one I thought would be the love of my life.
Thanks for always being there for me.
Baylee Kaye Nov 2018
to love is to be afraid.
afraid of forever.
because forever is eternity.
and eternity creates disquiet.
but with you it seems at ease,
this notion on loving incessantly.
almost like the concept of time is nonexistent,
that with you it does not grieve.
my heart be disposed, pray.
that I may love you.
and give you everything.
everything.
a list of firsts and lasts.
comfortably and effortlessly,
so it seems it was painted without a fault.
stars aligned just perfectly,
hearts in sync as one.
that I may love you selflessly,
without fear of failure,
or the concept of an unworthy mind.
d.c.
renée May 26
Wipe your eyes, my baby
Marlboro and shotgun casings
Pound piano keys and feel it in your bones, this fear you’re facing
Because Debussy can’t take away the sound through unsubstantial apartment wall spacing
Of neighbors screaming, growing skill in the use of debasing words
We’re growing sage to burn alongside the memory of heart-breaking firsts
That didn’t bring any fulfillment or remaining seconds and thirds
We are witches, searching for potions to provoke hard spells
To forget these troubles which were heard from the mouthpiece of hell
Our black cats and crooked hats don’t hide the fact
That these highs don’t last
And soon we will remember why we left yesterday’s December behind
Ice crackling softly in window panes becomes enough to remind us why—
These things don’t leave the solitary, unhinged mind
When there’s nothing else to replace what was once chased
On agonizing below-zero winter days
So wipe your eyes, my baby
Wipe your eyes
This won’t heal, not like the bullet wound and cigarette addiction
That you always lose
(And somehow manage to re-find).
I need you,
You need me,
We need each other,
Why the attitude?
Why the ego?
Somebody else brought you in this world,
Somebody else will bury you in your grave,
Why the attitude?
Why the ego?
Somebody was there for all your firsts:
Steps, words ,games,
first day at school,
Your first achievements,failures.
Behind every successful  person is another person,
Why the attitude?
Why the ego?
You think you alone in your mind or feelings,
But Allah is always there for you,
You are in somebody's  prayers,
You are in somebody's  thoughts.
Let go of your attitude and ego.
26/2/2019.
blue mercury Oct 2018
i want to tell a story about the colors in the trees.

i want to tell you about the quaking in my hands.

i want you to know where the rain falls,
how the crashing voices
sound like waves in the night time,
tugged tides tied to the moon
like a leash to a dog.

i want to give you something to regret.

i want you to recall how i, in all of my
innocence and passion
fell over you
(in concentrated lust
but also romance)
on that day in late may,
how you held
my bare body against yours
how in that moment
i remembered nothing but skin and skin
and
skin, nothing
but firsts,
but blessings
but

i want you to wonder how the holy swallow their love.
(i have confirmed, they do it like one would pomegranate seeds- with their eyes shut, but you wouldn't know)

i want you to believe you lost a good thing.
there's love grown in my belly the way
i was told watermelon patches would when
i was young and didn't
know any better.

i want to say that i didn't know you would destroy me.
that the rips under my skin were a shock
the ice-pick to my heart was unexpected.

i want to say something
but all that comes out is
i'm sorry
not knowing what i'm sorry for.
my heart aches, but i'm living
The smell of the oil as it's rubbed on your shoulder
The passion of the coach , we must be much bolder
The hatred of a player on the opposite side
The knowing when you'er out there there's nowhere to hide
The whistle has blow your anxiety drop
The firsts tackle made is a 19 stone prop
The taste of your blood makes it all worth while
The prop gets up and gives that I'll **** you next time smile
The old man on the score board sets our team to win
The small crowd on the side making all the din
The referees whistle calls the game to end
The prop who tried to **** you is now your friend
The hot water finds your wounds without any tear
The thought of some grub and a pint of beer
The game you so love has come to its end
The club house the banter a chat with a friend
The talk of the game the rights and the wrongs
The choir master arises and we blast out our songs

See you training
Rugby is a game for men with leather *****.
PlaneJane2 May 19
Finally Done

Done thinking about you.
Done thinking about our old memories.
Done thinking about the time I wasted.
Done thinking about where we went wrong.
Done thinking about what we both could’ve done to make it better.
Done thinking about everybody who got between us.
Done thinking about the times we should’ve called it quits.
Done thinking about the “firsts”.
Done thinking about the abuse.
Done thinking about being the victim.
Done thinking about being the bad guy.
Done thinking about if you’re okay.
Done thinking about fake not giving a ****.

Finally done with you.
Mikaila Jun 2014
It's true that I never really knew you.
But I did love you
In a certain, breathless way.
In a hushed way.
I was very small, then. And very sad.
And I looked out on a great, green, vivid world,
And I was afraid, even, to whisper into it
As if my breath would push the color out.
I watched. I noticed.
I perched on the edge of myself,
On the line between me
And the air around me,
Too cautious to slip into either fully.
I was used to looking.
I was used to being a shadow, and I enjoyed it.
I thought I enjoyed it.

The day I met you, you looked back at me.
You were the first.
Imagine that- all those years, and you were the first person
To wonder what it was like behind my eyes
Enough to really look into them.

I could have loved you
Just for that
And maybe I did, originally.
I remember small things, small wakings-up,
Tiny moments that made me realize who I was.
I never lived inside myself before that year.
When I met you I discovered
That I had hands
That when the breeze was warm
I felt it
That my fingers could read the world I so loved to look at-
Change it
Mold it,
Have it.
I discovered that maybe I didn't have to exist alone
And for that knowledge
I must bitterly thank you,
For ever since then I have craved to be held,
Every second
And it has been wonderful and terrible.

I remember snapshots of that time.

The first time, when you looked at me, when you stood close to me
And I was so surprised that I forgot to recoil
And I discovered that I didn't want to.
Your eyes,
Pale and warm, a clear grey-blue, sparkling with mischief,
And what was behind them-
Pain, fear, love, wit and imagination.
You.

I didn't know you,
But I saw you.
I was looking. I always look.
I rarely see anything I wish I could write poetry about.
When I do, it keeps on coming, even years later.
Go figure.

I remember going home and laying awake in the dark
And your face wouldn't leave my mind.
You were leaving within the week,
And I didn't want to forget it, somehow.
I didn't know what made me want to look at you.
Thinking of you-
The curtain of dark hair you hid beneath a hat,
Your softly freckled skin,
Your low, husky voice that always made my head turn
As if everyone else was just background noise.
Maybe it was the way your lips would quirk up in a half smile
Whenever you said something witty and knew it.
(I loved that you knew it.)
Somehow the sum-total of you
Stuck with me and wouldn't leave.
I'd met handsome men.
I'd met beautiful women.
I'd met many people, by then,
But none I'd wanted to know quite like I wanted to know you.

It had never occurred to me
Before that summer
That I would ever want to kiss anybody.
When I discovered that I wanted to kiss you...
I didn't know what to do.
So I said nothing.
Did nothing.
I passionately looked at you
As you told your mesmerizing stories and laughed and looked elsewhere.
I didn't mind.

That was the year
Two weeks later
That I rolled over in bed and asked my best friend to kiss me.
That was the year I discovered why I'd never fantasized a white wedding
(It wasn't legal yet.)

In the years after, I searched for you.
Sometimes I found you.
Sometimes
I couldn't stop telling you you were beautiful.
Sometimes I felt close to you
And my heart would race.
Sometimes you chose a boy
Over my small, dainty face and my eyelashes and my high heeled boots
And that was the first time I felt
The now familiar aching shame- the fear
That maybe that would always happen.
The fear I still grapple with, if I am to be honest.

Still, there were moments when you and I were close, and I treasured them.
Once, I asked you for a hug
And you pulled me down onto the bed beside you
And that was the first time
I ever felt my stomach fall through my feet
In a delicious way,
In a thrilling way.
All I did was hug you,
And looked at your soft, brown eyelashes
Casting shadows down your cheeks.
And then somebody walked in and the moment was over
But I never quite forgot it.

You were kind to me.
You were kind to me in a way I hadn't experienced before,
And I wanted to make you smile.

I remember the day you told us why you wore shorts at the pool.
I remember the white hashmarks shining in the sun
All the way up your thighs.
I remember I thought a thousand things in that second.
I wanted to tell you that you didn't have to hide them.
I wanted to show you that you were beautiful.
I've kissed scars since then, you know.
Because of that moment, I've kissed scars before I've kissed lips.
I've left people loved instead of wounded.
If I'd have let myself think such things about people back then,
I'd have wanted to touch those long-healed cuts with my fingertips,
Feel the smooth hills and valleys of a chaotic heart
Made damaged flesh.
I'd have wanted to kiss them, too, like I did to different skin-
Softly and without lust, looking into the eyes that witnessed their creation.
It was a very, very personal thought. A very, very private longing.
So confusing that I locked it up and didn't think of it for years to come.
And when I did once more,
I was raising a pale white wrist to my lips, tracing a wax-white pattern of healed hatred with soft kisses
And I saw what I wanted to see in the surprised, vulnerable brown eyes I was looking into.
That moment for her
Was your fault.

I remember when I realized why you had such trouble eating.
I never did hear all the details.
I couldn't presume to ask.
All I did was watch you walk away from the table,
Burning with the desire to comfort you
But
I was so used to looking
And not touching
And so I watched you go
And thought of you all night.

It rained a lot, those years.
It never seems to rain like that anymore.
Whenever I saw you it seemed to rain at least once,
The sky turning the same grey blue as your eyes when you were thinking
And thought nobody was looking
And cracking open with a rush of rain and lightning and the sweet, low rumble of thunder crackling through the hot clouds high above.
The holes in the road would fill with water
And the whole place would become a river.
It was so free.
Somehow I began to think of you whenever it rained.

I'm almost sure it was your eyes. They were so deep and stormy, sometimes.
Sometimes they were bright blue, like those summer days when the clouds skip along the sky, pushed by warm winds and shattered by sunlight.
Sometimes they looked very, very pale, like the tide when it folds up in satiny layers against the sand.
I always felt a little strange, looking at your eyes like I did.
I couldn't stop.
That was probably why I rarely touched you.
I was afraid that I was already invading, already pushing too much
To see what was inside of you.

I remember listening to you learn lines late at night,
The way your voice would rise and fall,
And I didn't even know why I was listening-
It just pulled me in, a sound I was partial to,
A tone I wanted to feel on my skin.

I remember tagging along for countless adventures,
Making up excuses to be here or there that I knew you'd be
Just so that I could be a bit closer.
I didn't have an end game.
Didn't have a goal.
I wasn't me enough yet. I acted from fascination.
I wanted to stand near you and watch you be.

I have the most vivid memory of you taking off running
One hot, hot summer day
Into a field of tall grass,
Your laughs and shouts echoing further away
And sometimes I'd see your pale arms stretch above the wildflowers and underbrush,
Waving a gauzy net after the white butterflies that rode the sunbeams.
What a happy field that was.
I didn't run.
I watched.
I always watched.
But I remember that the smile that touched my face
Filled my bones.

I remember when you cut your hair
And I could finally see your face in full
And I wanted to photograph it
In black and white
And maybe catch the way your laughter lived in your gaze.

That was when
You started to fade away.
I saw you less,
And you saw me... much less.
Perhaps I should have let you turn away
And never said a thing,
But
You were the first thing I ever really wanted
Enough to reach for in any way.
I spoke, and you heard me.
And even though you pretended you didn't
It was still the first time
I ever shouted.

Now... now I'm not sure what I think of you
Or what
You think of me.
But I know what you were when I knew you
And I love that girl
And that girl
Created much of what I love about who I am.
And most of the time
I think she grew up.
Found a man, found a life, found a place.
Most of the time I think it's okay that we don't talk
Because you probably aren't her anymore.
I wish I could say
I thought I'd grow up like that and leave my skin behind
But
I am the girl who looked at you back then.
And I have been her ever since,
Only added to.
I know I will never outgrow how I love,
Who I love,
Whatever woke up when I first realized how I felt about you.
I will only learn to wield it.

Sometimes I wish I knew you now.
Sometimes I wish I'd known you then.
Just because... look at all the firsts you were, to me,
And for years into knowing you
I didn't even know your real name.
Imagine if you'd let me in, how we could have changed each other.
I wonder who I'd be
If I'd done more than just watch you silently and smile.

What I learned
From years of gazing at you across picnic tables and bunk beds is that
You can love somebody you don't know.
You can give to someone you haven't taken from.
And you can be changed by someone who never even touched you.
And I'd like you to know that.
And I'd like to remind you
That you never quite know who out there
Is quietly writing you poetry.
Evan Stephens Mar 22
You are somewhere between
my unhurried steps and
the unhurried stars that
break free and easy from
the branch of rain that
hides half the world.

You are something between
the wild words of Yeats and
the wild words of your own,
handed to me across
the four hour sea,
full of firsts.
To Ece
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