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Robert Calero, "A Few First Kisses"

A Few First Kisses



A courtyard kid's game of catch and kiss,
and I slowed down.
Caught by my neighbor,
we entered my stairwell
and pressed our mouths,
as if they were elbows or knees.
Afterwards, the other children laughed:
never intending
consummation of the competition.

Us kids crowd round the twirling bottle,
yet too young for postures.
Parents upstairs, little we cared,
and atop the tables were brown bowls
filled with brittle pretzels.
She was the first whirl: comical girl from Japan.
All sweat and odd knots,
our tongues felt foreign between each other's teeth.
We held hands for the evening,
despite our newborn itch.

She lay in my lap
as I sat on the curb.
The block was lined with kegs, grills,
young boys and girls,
we were all drunk on stale beer.
I sunk my neck to reach her.
Our inverted mouths met.
My heart and belly held warm wax
as our lips flickered like amber flame
about a twisted wick.
Once done she thanked me for her first
and I learned thirst.
One day we'd kiss in a torrent,
and like a Pavlov dog
I no longer mind the rain.

She spoke of Plato and Socrates
as she sipped her vodka & lime.
I offered to walk her home
but instead she led me to a bench
where the woods commence
of northern New York.
Her face was fixed with the perfect kissable mouth.

We woke in bed beside one another,
beneath the heated sheets of an august morning.
She slept and I pressed against her.
She woke with reciprocity.
We knew it was wrong
and it ended in departure.

Another returned.
We kissed knelt before my wooden porch door.
Neither of us knew what it entailed,
and perhaps never will.

I read her Joyce from my pillow
in the pre-dawn black of my bedroom,
all at her request.
Alongside my recital,
she found my kisses to be O so dirty.

At the tail-end of the party,
last one of the year,
we met and danced
and met once more.
She had a caramel complexion
and loved that I could keep tempo
between her rotund hips.
The last thing we exchanged was numbers,
and I never called her.

Lips, lips, and tender tongues.
Kiss & tell, everyone.

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