Third grade, beside the water fountain.
A boy kissed me
for the first time, then spat ugly
girls smell like old sandwiches.
Lucky to have learned
that certain slant of love,
the metal scent of doing without.
High school graduation, basement couch.
A girl kissed me
for the first time, then exhaled
me like the spittled soot
from an enemy’s cigarette.
Lucky to have crushed the sear
of pleasure, a chrysalis under my boot.