puzzle pieces

I was fifteen and it was your humor.
Some of your jokes were so ridiculous
it’s a wonder either of us found them funny.
For our first kiss you rolled on top of me in the grass
and said it was to protect me from mosquitos.
We were hidden under my father’s boat
in the backyard where no one would find us
and afterward you asked if I’d be yours.
Of course, I said. I thought you’d never ask.

I was seventeen and it was your sweetness.
You always knew the right thing to say
and you always seemed to know what I liked.
For our first kiss we laid on your living room floor
I was spinning my ring around and around,
and when you asked why I told you
that I spun my ring whenever I was nervous.
Then your lips touched mine
and I drove home smiling.

I was eighteen and you were off-limits.
You were older and forbidden
and something about the challenge was thrilling.
For our first kiss we had just climbed the stairs,
breathless and laughing in the shadows
you asked me to take my hair down,
high above the world, and I was shaking.
You told me you were addicted to me
and I thought it was the best thing I’d ever heard.

I was nineteen and it was your attitude.
You were unreadable and complicated and interesting
and I couldn’t quite figure you out.
For our first kiss you bet me I couldn’t turn you on
within the three minutes before we went onstage,
and I proved you wrong by pressing you into a wall.
You told me that sitting in my car with me
was your favorite moment of the day.

I was twenty and it was your persistence.
You were determined to win a first date
and then my heart, and you did both.
For our first kiss it was Cinco de Mayo
and you were shaking when we broke apart.
You said to me that my eyes stopped you in your tracks,
every time I looked at you.
I tested it by looking you in the eye during a performance
and you froze, bass in hand,
and stared at my mouth.

I’m twenty-five and I don’t take it back.
Because I loved you at fifteen,
and loved you at eighteen.
I loved you at nineteen,
and loved you at twenty.
I have a habit of falling in love
with broken people.
We’re all a little broken,
just pieces of a puzzle
trying to fit in somewhere.


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