Poetry: Desire

Some­thing to remind all who are par­ents of what it was like to be a teen if any of you have forgotten.

I had to wake Sam to read it out loud to him. I don’t think he was as into it as I was, so I have to share it with you.

Desire
–Gail Mazur
From Zep­po’s First Wife: New and Select­ed Poems

It was a kind of torture–waiting
to be kissed. A dark car parked away
from the street lamp, away from our house
where my tall father would wait, his face
vis­i­ble at a pane high in the front door.
Was my moth­er always asleep? A boy
reached for me, I leaned eager­ly into him,
soon the wind­shield was steaming.

Mid­night. A neigh­bor’s bed­room light
goes on, then off. The street is quiet…

Until I mar­ried, I did­n’t have my own key,
that was­n’t how it worked, not at our house.
You had to wake some­one with the bell,
or he was there, wait­ing. Some­one let you in.
Those plea­sures on the front seat of a boy’s
father’s car were “guilty,” yet my body knew
they were the only right thing to do,

my body hat­ed the cage it had become.

One of those boys died in a car crash;
one is a mechan­ic; one’s a musician.
They were young and soft, and, most­ly, dumb.
I loved their lips, their eye­brows, the bones
of their cheeks, cheeks that scraped mine raw,
so I’d turn away from the par­ent who let me
angri­ly in. And always, the next day,

no one at home could pen­e­trate the fog
around me. I’d relive the pre­cious night
as if it were a bridge to my new state
from the old world I’d been impris­oned by,
and I’ve been allowed to walk on it, to cross
a border–there’s an invis­i­ble line
in the mid­dle of the bridge, in the fog,
where I’m released, where I think I’m free.

Cur­rent Mood: 🙁melan­choly
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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