Remembering My First Real… Kiss

I was sixteen.
I’d just been dumped
By a girl I wasn’t actually with
And who was using me
To get something else

The beautiful neighbor girl
From across the street
Had tried to tell me
This would happen
But I didn’t listen

I knocked on the neighbor girl’s door
Because I needed a friend who understood
And we talked out in my front yard
As the night grew darker
And the wind blew colder

This neighbor, who was a stunning beauty
[Actually, she still is. You know, Facebook]
As we finished our conversation
Impulsively kissed me.
It was incredible, my first kiss.

Why, I’ll never know.
It certainly never happened again.
I made as regular a practice as I could
After that time
Of kissing girls
And that kiss was one of the top four, all-time
At least, until I met my wife

Occasionally, now,
When beautiful neighbor girl (now woman) and I
Trade pleasantries online
I think about that night

I don’t know why she did it
But when she kissed me
She lifted my spirits
In such a way that
They’ve never really come down again

(“Remembering My First Real… Kiss” – 8-7-2014)

you never knew…

not even years later on facebook would i admit this to her … ever …

i never told you how i felt
before you went away;
although we’d sat in class together
several times a day

for you were dating someone else,
and i just let you be;
you never knew i thought about you
daily, constantly

you transferred in our junior year,
while i nearby did stay;
i saw you once or twice again
but never did i say

my feelings were a secret, which
i’ve held fast, faithfully:
i loved you in my way, but thought
you were too good
for me

Diaries of Another Summer (8)

She was eighteen, I was fourteen,
All I had were dreams;
Damn, those were confusing visions,
With recurrent themes —

I felt tortured every night.
I’d try to get some rest:
There she was, then, on the beach,
And I just felt possessed.

Images and strange new feelings;
Latency and double dealings,
Sonia smiling down at me,
That was perfect misery.

Fear that follows like a sickness,
Puberty’s a sorry business.
Tortured visions, out of reach —
Sonia, smiling, on the beach.

I was fourteen, reaching desperate;
I was short on clues —
Damn, it was bewildering,
Although, back then, ’twas news

How nights were made for boys to suffer
Sights they can’t avoid:
Then our awkward first essayings,
Girls just get annoyed.

Images and strange new feelings;
Hours, looking up at ceilings,
Sonia smiling down at me,
That was perfect misery.

Fear that follows fear with swiftness,
Puberty’s a sorry business.
Tortured visions, out of reach —
Sonia, smiling, on the beach.

Teenage passions poured in streams:
Sonia, laughing, in
My dreams

Secret Crush

If you look carefully at the photo, I’m just slightly to the right of it.

Four different classes, four different desks –
Four different views across the room –
A smile, a look, a fleeting glance,
A few words exchanged waiting to go out the door –

And it’s secret — it’s a real secret —
No best friends know; no parents, no siblings –
Just furtive thoughts round about bedtime,
Just… wondering, looking over during a football game

At someone
Ensconced in a different crowd
Secure in ignorance

While a secret, faithfully kept

Dies, like his soul

A slow

  and lingering


I Wouldn’t Understand

From “Conversations With My Nieces”…

She said that she was sad, but that
I wouldn’t understand;
I said I likely wouldn’t,
But I’d try –

She said her hair looked stupid; that
She always felt outside –
And that she really liked
A certain guy;

But all the girls liked him, and he
Had never noticed her.
She said she really longed
To see this band —

But it was far away, and she
Was not allowed to go.
Her parents didn’t trust her
In the end.

And mister “Certain Guy” was going,
She could tag along —
It would be perfect, so that
He could see

That she was special, different;
She felt like she would shine –
And at the concert: Magic,
Destiny —

And there are those I know who’d say
That hers were first world problems;
To worry about boys
And about hair —

But I felt bad for her, for while
Her troubles were quite common:
They all were new to her
And hard
To bear