When I was thirteen, I discovered what it was like
to taste love on my back of my tongue and it was
the after-scent of your cologne that hung there.
The flavor didn’t wash out until I was punch-drunk
from kissing strangers at parties my mother
would never have let me go to, if she’d known.
The next time I tasted love was the summer I turned fifteen
and it was hollowed and dull, it didn’t have the stamina
I remembered, and I thought, ‘second love is just an echo.’
Sometimes I still taste it, like that almost-alcohol flavor
wedged behind your teeth when you’re hungover, and I think,
‘if I never let myself do that again, it will be too soon.’
My third taste of love was like the first time I ever tried kiwi.
I had never imagined that something could encompass so much
and be so bright and alive. I’m still waiting for the tang to fade.