The 2River View 21.4 (Summer 2017)

Sidney Thompson

First Love in Latin

Because I asked, you took mine
with you, and before a closed door
and a white block wall you whirred
and whirred—your Easter-yellow skirt
for after-school hostessing whirling
among dust falling, then halfway back,
across rows, you flung it wheeling
with a fair aim and a laugh and it struck
home. You insisted many subjects later,
when excavating the past for signs
we’d missed we’d end, I should’ve
laughed, too. Listen, I should have.

My ruinous memory even supports
what I’ve seen since: the point’s
shadow doesn’t shift; it’s more, still,
an uninhabitable island, an unerasable
error, than a peak, closer to math
than honed words—this tiny gray cloud
I caught that never rains or drifts. How
goddessly of you to leave for scale
inside my fist and every shake and pat
and private stroke this lifelong pencil
of hurt.

Sidney Thompson has work in journals such as American Literary Review, The Carolina Quarterly, The Cortland Review, Rhino, and The Southern Review, with other poems forthcoming in Flock and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VIII: Texas. He lives in Fort Worth, where he teaches creative writing at Texas Christian University.

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