May 22, 2017

It Was but a Grazing Touch of Something—Something Missed. {Poem}


Upon a dusty stage—
It was spring I think—
His fingers grazed
My girl-soft arm
Peeping from a white T-shirt.

The one I wore on purpose—
It made me feel pretty.
He touched me
Because he couldn’t help it,
Because he was a boy who wanted more.

He was reaching,
But in the moment settled for less.
The timing
Was slightly off—
He had his reasons,
I guess—
Though, we both remember,
The lingering seconds,
Of connection.

And he knew, as I did,
What the touch meant.
First and foremost,
It was not an accident.
It meant something else,
And it was the only time
He ever touched me.

And now, years have passed,
And I am old,
But I still think about
That one time—
That one time after school,
Under a dim, backstairs light,
Near the exit sign—
The way he whet my appetite.

A touch that grew me dewy,
My rushing crimson, my youthful flush.
It made me hot then
But now,
Now that I am old, renders me a wistful dreamer,
Filled with words that should have been said
Though we were much too young
And too careful with our hearts
To whisper them.

The words,
We kept our silence
(And our distance)
And all that could have been,
Was, it would seem, emphatically dead.

Though, somehow, here and now,
Inside what gives
All that could have been
Still quietly lives,
Lives on in vain,
Upon that stage,
A bubbling memory contained,
A time, a place, a sexy moment framed,
An aging bit of nothing, really,
Or was it something?

Oh, I think it was,
And it was pure;
It was but a grazing touch of something—
Something missed—
Of that,
I am sure.



Author: Kimberly Valzania
Image: Jake Thacker/Unsplash
Editor: Leah Sugerman

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