This Reminder

it came in the form of a tourist shirt
you had lent me long ago.
after you sauntered around the room
shirtless, scissors in hand

throwing my hair about the floor,
which vibrated to your father’s guitar,
a slightly mis-scaled portrait
of clara bow staring from the wall.

my shirt was stained with split ends
and you gave me the one you
had just taken off. “greetings from the tube”
though i don’t think you’d ever gone

to london, or even outside the state.
it made your culture seem
even more pristine, and made your hair
smell even more like apricots.

it hurts to say, i was afraid of you, so much
more adult than i at the same age,
a pastor’s daughter bubbling sexuality
upon a nervous jewish boy.

i rode the dollar bus home that day,
my neck itchy, my mouth with remnants of orthodontic
kisses. the mexican families beside
me gayly speaking in foreign tongues.

and now, in your shirt which barely fits,
the geometrical diagram of the subway
as blurry as my memory of your face,
i can’t help but bare my straightened teeth.

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