FIRST KISS

was with Sonia in the closet
a summer morning her parents
off to work and the neighbor kids
were playing spin the bottle which
Sonia did and it stopped dead at me
so they pushed us into a closet
and there we were in the dark
muffled among the hanging clothes
nervous excited we didn’t know
how to kiss so we just grazed
our lips and clutched each other
before opening the door to our
friends crowding around
as Sonia and I looked down
from our new height as if
we had glimpsed some secret
back there in the dark among
her mother’s dresses her father’s
stiff trousers something
unspeakable in the bodiless clothes
the empty sleeves and pant legs
dangling and brushing against us
ushering us closer together
in the perfume smell of
her mother the cigarette odor
and English Leather of her father
as Sonia and I grasped and swayed
our eyes shut tight as our mouths
in that first blind groping kiss
among the ghostly limbs clutching
and shuddering around us

Joseph Stroud | Of This World, 2009

Juana Olga Barrios | Primitivos, 2017