The First Time

The first time I said “no”

It sounded like “I love you.”

He whispered it against my ear,

the words swiveling around the shell –

“Tell me you love me.”

“Tell me you love me.”

“If you say it, it won’t hurt like this.”

“Say, you love me.”

And he was right.

The words slipped, limp from my lips

and froze against the soft skin of my neck.

He flipped me over,

eye contact that was magic movie scene in the making

and my eyes were geometric shapes:

heavy plaid flannel eyelids,

all blurred and sparkling at the edges like

mermaid tail sequins glittered against black.

I cannot see his face through eyes like that.

The first time I said “no”

It sounded like “I love you.”

There was privacy in escape

and my voice was sorrow hiding

behind empty platitudes.

“Everything happens for a reason.”

Well, he didn’t ask to rob my house

until he was already in my fucking kitchen.

There was no hilltop to die on.

No cringeworthy argument to appease the masses.

I was wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

My bra and panties didn’t match.

I was not miscreant lurking in the dark alone.

I was standing out there in broad daylight.

I was outside a fucking Radio Shack.

I was 20 feet away from the sidewalk.

I could see the traffic on the highway.

But I can’t see his face in my memory.

© Laura A. Lord, 2021


Thank you to MindLoveMisery for the prompt.

One thought on “The First Time

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