When I Was Straight

Everything came to me vicariously—a promise,
a post-script, a preview of coming attractions.
Desire a quiet rumor that rippled through the halls.
At the cinema, someone always paid for popcorn, a soda
with two straws, little licorice candies.
I loved to sit in the back row & watch
till all the credits rolled.
“You have a gift,” the blond boy said, “for stalling.”
Later, in a twin bed in a college dorm, I spoke without thinking—
“I like you. Let’s get this over with.”
His pink mouth amazed, so wide & round.
“Did you hear what you just said?” he asked.
I hadn’t been listening.

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