First Kisses & Near Misses


i

If you want to get technical,

my very first kiss was

during a game of truth or dare,

on the stoop of my childhood best friend’s neighbor’s house

with a chubby kid I didn’t like.

It was

just a smooch but

It was

the worst few seconds of my life.

All the kids on the block looking on,

their eyes on me, gauging my reaction.

I didn’t know what to think.


ii

If you want to get technical,

my first “real” kiss was

after a movie date

at the entrance of the Union Square station,

with a guy I like liked.

It was just

lips upon lips but

It was

the best few seconds of my life.

I felt all the passersby looking on,

His eyes on me, gauging my reaction.

I didn’t know what to think.


iii

If you want to get technical,

my last kiss was

on a cool September night

at that sushi place by St. Mark’s

with a guy I secretly liked

It was just

lips upon lips upon tongue, but

It was

the most confusing few seconds of my life.

I felt our friends looking on, even though they all waited outside

He didn’t stop to gauge my reaction, only said:

“Just have fun,”

before turning and heading out towards the door.

…I still don’t know what to think.


iv

When we were younger, my best friend and I would practice kissing

(with our pillows)

Getting technical

so that when the time came for a real kiss,

we would know what to do

when the fireworks came.

How could we have known then that kissing

the pure whites of pillow covers

would be better than

the sloppy firsts to come?

That near misses would not mean

giving the cheek,

but that what truly was missing

was the fireworks?


v

I still search for fireworks.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.