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Posts Tagged ‘teenager’

 

 

 

I was fourteen, Richard was eighteen,

and he was Romeo in the high school play.

 

He was Romeo and I was chorus, and

every song I sang, I sang for him.

 

Every song I sang, a love song.

I had never been taught any other,

 

I had never been taught to be hard,

I longed to give him everything,

 

I longed for him to want to kiss me,

to give me everything, and when

 

he kissed me, which he did, he gave

me mono. I was somehow proud,

 

was proud of getting sick because

he kissed me, as if it were a badge

 

that I was worthy of being kissed,

kissed by Richard, Richard Smith, who left me

 

shortly after, who left me crumpled, weeping

in the green cement block halls,

 

halls that rang back all my emptiness.

I didn’t know then love could end.

 

I was a girl who knew only beginnings,

a girl who trusted in happily evers,

 

a girl who wanted to be chosen. Years later

I’d learn there are many kinds of love,

 

how all of them depend on one thing.

Years later I’d learn to choose myself,

 

to show up at my own balcony,

roses and poems in hand.

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There are many kinds of love, and I have lived some of them.

—Katherine Gallagher, Distances

 

 

You’re too restrictive,

he shouts at you,

and the fist of his voice

connects with your most tender parts.

There was a time

when loving him looked

like holding him, letting

the small question of his body

soften into yours. There

was a time when loving him

looked like kissing a knee

or playing Monopoly

a third time or singing

to him in the dark. How

easy it was to love then.

Now, love is a war

with no winners,

ammo without a gun,

a wall you wish you could

tear down. That’s right,

you say. I’m restrictive.

That’s my job.

He stomps away

and slams his bedroom door,

leaving you standing

alone with your horrible,

fierce love.

 

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