The first time I kissed her

She was my first.
She was my secret.
She was my muse.

The first time I kissed her she told me she was leaving if I didn’t.
The first time I kissed her was on the beach under the moonlight.
The first time I kissed her I whispered in her ear and asked her permission.

She was laying on my futon. I had just cooked us dinner.
We were in my hometown. We hid our shoes under sandy steps.
It was our first date. The bar had a tattoo parlor in the back.

I knew I wanted to, but I was nervous. An inexperienced virgin.
She held my hand as we walked. Her hands were so tiny.
The DJ knew me. He gave me a thumbs-up when we left.

She closed her eyes and it was clumsy, awkward, yet earnest.
She whispered “close your lips a little more.”
She smiled, her whole body reacting, and she said “yes.”

I realized she was going to be my first. I thought I was ready.
I realized her mouth was smaller than my wife’s. My heart pounded.
I realized she was special. My soul smiled, deep and intense.

I would catch her staring at me, her hand on her heart.
Her hands would cup my face, and I would breathe in a sweet hint of tobacco.
She would wiggle and look at me with deep, beautiful eyes.

She said “I love you.” I responded in kind but I didn’t feel it.
She told me she had fallen in love with me. I’d felt the same for months.
She loved me. I loved her back, effortlessly.

We were happy. Complacent with our lives, a wealth of literal riches.
We were happy. Surreptitious and voracious, volcanic and intense.
We were happy. Planning for a future, comfortable in our routines.

It didn’t last. The cracks in the foundation were irreparable.
It wasn’t going to last. We were both married, and tragedy awaited.
It couldn’t have lasted. My life is too hard to share.

I didn’t like who I had become, and I needed to change.
I became someone new, and my whole life changed.
I am who I am, and I don’t think I will ever change.

The last time I kissed her, she tasted like the salt from our tears.

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