FIRST KISS

by George Marsh

It's August the seventh 1960 and I've just kissed Tessa Carter, while the river mutters in its sleep and two boys strum Rhythm & Blues in the back field. The nose of a coypu slides across the black river dividing the waters.

fourteenth birthday:
I'm the Hoochie Coochie Man
ever'body knowd I yam

It may not be the kiss itself, but in the night air there is a ruthless exuberance. It is not romance, and it does not have much to do with Tessa Carter perhaps. It's the trillion stars and the sound of water rushing past us like childhood. As it did for a Neolithic boy.

the stars's energy
whispering
in the reedbeds

I am alive, and I know the music, in an ancient universe that seems to be already in full swing. I have seen stars before, but not noticed they are burning.
 
I am glad to be rid of childhood. It was beige vanilla daylight. I've got a new Rhythm & Blues walk. A Kisser's Walk. It fits me like woad. I feel the night's velvet urgency. I want to stay in the night. I don't want days any more.

All I remember of her:
summer starlight
and the rhythm of the river

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