Thursday, May 22, 2008

Remember Grape-flavored Bubble Yum?

The adults in the smoky basement
drank beers and whiskey
danced to cumbia, cueca, and BeeGees
came up every now and then to use the bathroom
or to help themselves to the vast spread in the dining room
chips, olives, salads, roast beef, rice, and desserts.

The eighth grade girl sat with the high school freshman
in the breakfast room
awkward attempts at conversation
became easier
when he opened a large pack of grape bubble gum
and offered her a piece.

Unwrapped the candy and popped it in her mouth
folded and refolded the wrapper as she considered
what to talk about next
with this older guy she had just met.
He was… cool.
He smelled great.
Thick, wavy, brown hair curled over
the edge of a white turtle neck,
a cable-knit beige sweater,
dress pants and real shoes completed his look.
None of the boys she knew dressed like this!
And he spoke SPANISH.
None of the boys she knew could do that!

Suddenly his face was strangely close to hers
and then… a grape kiss
that lasted and lasted.
Possibly someone passed by on their way to get some food,
maybe somebody walked by looking for more ice,
and perhaps an adult came up, and went back down

not wanting to disturb the first grape kiss.

No comments: