February

Nerves, buzzing with dread,
Suddenly.
When something strange has happened,
And I’m denying,
I am scared.
What is to happen if I cannot take the weight
Of loving someone?
To feel like I could push against stacks of hay piled up,
To wonder if there is enough strength in the ropes
That pull me through caution,
To believe that real is real.

Twelve years old, shallow breathing.
Light bright tiles of science class.
I had liked him so much, then.
I know that I can feel it, I have felt even now
The involuntary, downward cast smile.
But while sitting right next to him the other day,
I was still afraid.

I even told him that I wouldn’t do it, theoretically, you know?
And I think he knew what I meant.
But he was so brave.
He went right ahead and brought up the bush.
At least he brought up the bush.

We danced though, we did for a while,
Right around it.
And then I became beer brave.
Or maybe I just thought,
Quivering,
Can it, though? Can it happen?

It did. It did.
I dared not to react, but it happened.
And I still sat there thinking, “Can it, though?”

I’m shifting, stirring, wiggling.
My poor aching, packed joints haven’t moved in a while.
Click, click, click, movement; small,
But certainly moving.

Lull, standstill, creaking,
It happened, though. It did.
And I know because he stroked my palm,
And I felt his hand on my thigh, for like a minute.
And I felt him, just him, near me,
Quivering too.

For both of us to know, to really know,
Privately, to ourselves,
Is not a problem.
For me to not know what he thinks,
Despite the happening,
That seems like a problem (inside me).

I know what I said! I know because when it was said,
I thought, “Really? Seriously?”
And then I thought, Yes.
I know that’s really weird.

Strange things, very strange.
But what has been said remains.
It’s there, it’s right there.
Right now, I only need to remember
And know that it happened.

Quietly gathering myself.
Have patience, I think that I can do this.
I think I want to do this.

Be kind, this time be kind.

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