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First Love

ISSUE:  Autumn 1976
We lurk in the basement
of our school
        take turns being
the first to arrive
in a room where all the stage sets
of forgotten plays are stored.
We have our parts by heart.
I am the Prince returned
through claws
        flesh scarred
by the guardian dragons of recess
and she is newly awakened Lady-of-
but her rising/falling chest
and pale grip of chalkdusted hand
show her distress.

Never touching lip to lip we
stare for fifty minutes stare
at the eyes that vaguely fear
the impossible reach to come
when we will kiss and kiss
our lips raw on the frozen mouths
of lovers trapped in some icy moat.

Out of that heaped storage room
again and again her face shines up.
We lean to kiss
but our bent light
sheers off.


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