first impressions.

I.
hips collided like an auto wreck, 
crushing bone, skin, bruising //
unfortunately uncalloused, unable to pretend 
this energy was merely coincidental 
or entirely nonexistent but instead borne 
of a subliminally premeditated convergence,
every time she fell to the floor 
she’d have to sweep the pile of her
self together again after going to pieces //
atoms bounced around like blind butterflies 
against intestinal muscles and cranial walls, 
perfectly misdirected in this initial union //
and it’s a good thing she can laugh 
at the clumsiness of it all,
grateful for the freedom of movement.

II.
“I get bored in one place” he would say to her days later, flipping her
from lap to couch to floor to lap again, not even thinking about
the random comment that slipped out of his mouth before
his brain had the chance to soak it up, certainly not analyzing
the meaningless sentence as she undoubtedly would, instantly
curious to discover which aspects of his life this statement might apply to //
or if there was any more to this aesthetically pleasing stranger besides
a talent for voicing orderly, insightful opinions and perceptions //
it all made her very suspicious but intrigued, and she raised her eyebrows,
surprised at the complexity of enigma.

III.
perfectly delicate arched fingertips and seventh-grade fantasy movie screen lips
produced a streamlined gentle cloudy exhale, and she witnessed
the years of practice needed to achieve this level of gracefulness and precision //
observing shyly but with unrelenting intensity through thick panes of glass,
protective barriers she could touch physically but constructed mentally
to maintain the distance she needed to keep herself from falling again //
and she smiled carefully, observing the definition of skill.

IV.
never awkward in his slender frame, seemingly undisturbed by confusion or chaos
she envied his ability to appear invulnerable to aggravation and harm //
and for a humble instant she hid in a shadow of adoration, this time avoiding
high-risk factors, preferring safety’s comfort so she could fine-tune 
his filtered words, fluid like thermometer mercury
picked up by eavesdropping, transmitted by osmosis //
these instruments she could use to trace his aura 
as if it were a tangible entity
and her wrist veins pulsated and her retinas glowed,
receptors of the generosity of spirit.

V.
dominant in this outline was defiance, accentuated by warmth and brightness
like polished chrome reflecting in the rays of urban summer //
inviting and intimidating, this opportunity to be released from
dynamic isolation, guided by energy’s pervasive underlying current,
traveling in a steady flow so beautifully orchestrated it made her falter //
and satisfied with the excitement of something new,
she would learn to appreciate the virtue of patience.

(1998)

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