No one likes their first cigarette.
Any chaperone could tell you that. Any
chaperone could tell you: our peephole
hearts all look out onto the same midnight
motel hallway, where two post-prom kids
forever fumble with each others zipper’s
for the first time. Any chaperone could tell
you: what happens after that is always
up to you. Maybe the boy forever cums
he-thinks-too-soon upon the shy girl’s hand.
Their laughter warming the plaster of our cold
rooms. Their tenderness slipping beneath
our doors in unsealed envelopes. Or maybe
instead of forever laughter, forever lenience,
there is forever shattering. Maybe the boy
cartwheels away ashamed to smudge his
bloody knuckles moptwirl pink against the
khaki bathroom stall. A boy’s first stab
at DMZ. A boy’s first stab at quarantine.
What if his mother taught him this? What if
his father? What if he never speaks to the girl
again, never knows the girl understands for-
ever and forever thinks it cute? Or, maybe,
instead of forever shattering, forever shame,
the kids forever and always incandesce into song:
I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh lord.
I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life.