young love ~ poems

First Love

Looking through old letters, I found a card
given to me by my first love; an amulet fell from
inside, inscribed: Behold Saint Christopher,
and go your way in safety.

I smiled and held the pendant, turning it over
in my hands. It had been inside the card for
twenty-five years, how wonderful it was to
find, to have found each other, so early in life,

I remember kissing and kissing and kissing
lips raw, lips open, just breathing each other in
How we loved to touch each other, to lay in bed
and hold each other, to cuddle and hug and talk

We walked everywhere. We held hands. We had a
kissing walk which included a twirl. We danced
on the sidewalk and in the streets. We played
in playgrounds. We climbed chain link fences.

We listened to music. We talked about our families.
We talked about our friends, our future, the world.
We argued. We wrote each other letters and carved
our initials into a tree, JS and MA, inside a heart.

Our first kiss was outside by the gate, and I
was so nervous that my braces would cut his lip
It was messy and gross and exciting and wonderful
and when I opened my eyes, I saw the stars.

*

Kiss

Last night the baby cried
and after I fed her, I rocked her
softly, just holding her
tired body in my own tired arms

I held her close so that the rise
and fall of my heart lulled her back
to sleep. I spoke to her gently,
about the first time I fell in love

with the boy who neglected his
paper route to tease me after school
one night, he kissed me by the gate
when I opened my eyes, I saw stars

I told her about her father, when we
first fell in love, I tried to learn
a new language to read nadja, and he
gave me nineteen poems about my eyes

I saw constellations when we kissed
sitting at the beach at dusk, as the
world turned from day to night and
we stood still, side by side

Though I knew she had fallen asleep,
I held her a little bit longer
wanting the moment to last as long
as a kiss you never want to end.

*

Afternoon

In your room, surrounded by sky
time suspended, as if under a spell

Blue as the ocean, deep as the sea,
your eyes locked onto mine, and I

breathed your breath as if it were
my own, and as necessary.

Our mouths crashed like waves
against the shoreline, pressing

giving, smoothing rough sand with
sensual lightness, each touch

spiraling outwards, sending ripples
across the surface of skin.

We reached for each other, searching
the body for the key to the soul

my desire was overwhelming –
to be able to touch you, to hold you

to express what I feel for you, you
who have captured my heart

Tonight, I am alone and wanting,
remembering how we loved

each other, and the world outside
happened all afternoon.

*

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