Written by Irma Ilustre, Manheim Township. This piece was first published on June 17, 2019 in Irma’s Blog. Reprinted here with permission from the author.
I looked at you
With your short hair and black square glasses
An 80s band t-shirt tucked into slim waist, denim shorts that fell a tad below your knees
I could see the curved outline of your breast when you turned to look at me
Like I was looking at you.
Hey, you said
The simple greeting caused my skin to pucker
While you moistened, then bit your full bottom lip
And readjusted your glasses with slender, honey colored fingers topped with dark purple nail polish
Hey, I said
Because that’s the best pick up line.
And so We started
Asking and answering
Feeling out yet avoiding the urge to touch
Softness against softness.
Then the hard truth came around the corner
Time to go, babe, he said
The sadness in your eyes
As my face fell in my hands and
My fear of the truth hardening
Until I turned to stone.
Stuck in the life carved out for me
Since before birth
The expectations hewn into a 5 foot 4 inch alcove.
Then your touch on my hand, soft like the kiss of a butterfly
Strong like the arch of a rainbow
Pressing a paper against my calloused skin
I look at you and brave a smile.
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