At First

About this time last year an old friend tumbled out of the ether and back into my life. We had one of those utterly magnetic, immediate, and necessary friendships that only seem to develop in childhood, and before boys and girls start not understanding what they want from each other as they become men and women. He was my favorite and most emotional friend right up to the moment he moved away at the end of 6th grade.

This spring I saw him for the first time in 25 years. It was an overwhelming and powerful experience. I will be seeing him again soon and I have been wanting to touch that first experience to guide me? ground me? for seeing him again. So I am revisiting these words that I put together after we met that first time.

 

 

At First 

Is it unkind that, at first, I only want to listen to you in the dark?

That, at first, your body is too much for me?

That I must, at first, get accustomed to you one part at a time?

The newborn, old, new-seen lines of your face interrogate me like spotlights.

The familiar cups of your eyes, resurrected in your new face, are drowning me.

The jut of your chin

-aroused since my last glimpse of your child’s face-

is piercing me like a lance.

I am impaled. At first.

You are. Of nature. But not natural.

As contrived as you need to be. And your being is loud!

I can feel taut bands wrap my chest at the sonic, immortal thumping of your presence.

We must dull it at first.

At first, veil it.

Shroud it. For what we lost not watching each other grow.

For what we lost not merging at first glance.

Shut your eyes. Disappear. Do not appeal.

I am starving, but I cannot take you all in.

At first, I must listen to you in the dark. Part by part.

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