The first time I gave myself to another person
was the first time I knew the juvenile wholeness living inside me,
like the carbonation in a soda pop,
would lie flat, dead, like stinking road kill
on the cusp of a rough January pothole—
The bright and unattractive pinkness
drew me to the pits and plummeting nature of your mind
that I refused to admit had surrendered months ago.
But “such is life,” my mother told me
as I sobbed at the foot of my bed
wishing I was washing the soles of your feet
with my endless tears.
It’s funny how our first loves disappear like
youth does from our parents’ faces—somehow
unnoticeable, unwatched, offensive.
“It’s horrible,” my mother told me,
“loving somebody so much that you give little pieces of yourself to them.”
I thought about these little pieces, from my irises, the palms of my hands, the arc of my hip—
Where did he put them?
Did he bury them in his backyard?
Did he scatter them about the wind in the field where we first made love?
Did he swallow them whole, and did they scrape the lining of his esophagus as they tumbled to the pit of his stomach?
Where does love go when the other side hands in their cards and quits?
Perhaps it slowly evaporates from the heat
that has been rising like yeast underneath us—slowly, but concisely,
because it has no other choice.
If this is the way things are supposed to be, then how,
how, can I look into another’s eyes and tell him that I love him?
For I will never love any of them the way my body yielded to yours.
I’ve been stuck on you like peanut butter to the roof of a mouth—
and not letting go.
Looking out windows into the darkness, I wonder,
were you it for me?
Will I love another with the force that my body did you?
How will I ever feel anything ever again?
It’s been a sharp cut off of the pleasure nerves
a goddamn thing.
for I did not know that late May of that year was my last chance.
for I did not know that you would fall in love with a woman who I could smell from the chair I sat in through my Advanced Poetry class.
for I did not know that the signs were there when I was blinded by the trunk of your soul that sheltered me.
for I did not know that loving you, breathing you in, and holding you would slowly kill every
I’d ever fancied.
For now, and always, you live within me.
Forgive me—for loving you too good.
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