(some background information/context/framework/excuses, feel free to ignore if you'd like to simply get to the point)

This is about the person with whom I had my first kiss. It was originally composed a long long time ago as a letter, never meant to be sent. A while later it was reworked into a poem. Then it went untouched for a long time. Fragments of it were used for other ideas, like this piece and this piece. Then it finally got reworked into this combinatory thing. I've been embarrassed about this idea in all its incarnations for a long time. Partly because it's about embarrassment itself, it's about miscommunication and about the awkward, painful differences in expectations and understanding between a couple of damaged libras. It's about emotional immaturity, and it comes mostly from the bitter and hurt and immature perspective of what those feelings brought forth in the moment, rather than how I understand my feelings in hindsight. That's why I felt the need to keep this piece defeated for so long. But I can still see some value in this, when I get over my internal shortcomings and the fact that I wasn't as good of a writer when I made this. I'm better equipped to deal with these kinds of feelings today than I was when I wrote this. But nonetheless I still strongly relate to a lot of these feelings, I'd even say the words I wrote as a teenager cut more deeply now than they did when I first penned them. Maybe that's because I've lost access to the raw bitterness and anger that came with them, that with a more well-rounded, patient, responsible perspective comes a deeper melancholy than when I was simply confused. Either way, this is important enough for me to set aside all of my self-consciousness and allow it to see the light of day. For what it's worth.

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would you show me some sympathy
you've been dragging me for days and
I can't shake the smell of your hair
that high redness in your shampoo
it's made its way into my routine, my gait
covering me like smoke
like the kind of dream that keeps me in place
wherever I go

I'm still allergic to those little tugs on my sleeve. You've done this to me exactly three unforgettable times. I can still feel it. You might not realize what a weapon this is for you. But your fingers know. It's been a long, sleepless night in your bed. Using my own fingers to trace little shapes and words on your back has helped me to pass the time. But there's still this quiet, blanketing thing here. Pressure.

You've threaded words into me
little organ donations
I wish I could see them
so that I might come to understand
how to hate them
considering self-operation

Honestly the littler shots to my ego are the harder ones to take. But you're wielding those sledgehammers. The ones who can shatter my ego so completely. Like the night you told me I was the only boy who didn't threaten you. I know you meant it as a compliment. But it made me feel so disregarded, so unconsidered. You've hit me in some low, low places in the time we've known each other. You've kicked the child inside me. Made him taste his own blood and pudgy tears. That child who argues with me, who says girls aren't supposed to be able to hurt boys. Why is it so easy for you, he says.

In the wake of my broken nature
in the shadows of unwarranted doubt
and shame
lies the bathtub
the empty place
where you showed me
the scars on your legs
that cold porcelain
a worthy haunting yes, but
still better than the couch
that sacred territory of
brutal exposure
set up
like a stage to the world

I've been subjected to the joint custody of your extremes. Hate me for the holidays, love me on the weekends. Bitterness from 9:00 to 5:00, sympathy after sunset. Roaming charges apply. Hung up on your two jobs your judgmental parents and three other young men who you've dissolved into nothingness, stripped of their identities, and who hate you for it. If only you were brave enough to live out your own delusions, or braver still, enough to tell me what you truly wanted. But of course you won't. And I'm afraid all of my childish pride and I will be snarling at you. We'll be hissing like cornered rodents at you and your dead little life.

If you could admit
that your entire existence
is one long
(soft) (weak)
inarticulate prayer
for time

with your hand down your pants
and one eye open,

You can still come clean. You can acknowledge all your emotional debts. All the people you've hung out to dry. But of course you won't. You don't see any point in owning up to those mistakes, in opening yourself up to such guilt. You can see such a high cost in that pain. You always understand the cost of all things, and yet you understand the value of nothing. The classic definition of a cynic. If you think that you'll never be able to clear your conscience then you'll never try. But what about me. Me and the other incongruent spirits to have crossed your path. Did you never consider your own confession, your own evolution, and how that might help me to heal? Is there nothing that could make us better from all the shame of this clumsy dancing of youth?

When I am reincarnated
as the sliver of saliva
sliding down the edge
of your bra strap
down the cleavage
of a leaflet home
all the way
to the ground
I hope
I'll be disappointed

The morning is coming soon. It's all so predictable. So premeditated. Soon we will become a one way street. Of anxieties, of obligations and half-hearted thanks and farewells and supression, like holding our stomachs in, waiting for the photographer to finish. It'll be cold in the sun when we're done here. It'll be a long, drawn out stand to find you again. But this night is not over. And I think I need to get a little abusive with you tonight, cynic. It'd be nice if we could die before the dawn, but whenever we die I hope we can leave with the understanding

that we are
what we owe

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