Messy Things

Lace your fingers with mine

Walk with me, feel the sun

Don’t make me list the reasons

Why we might not work


I like the easy things

I like the messy things

It means that you’re here

It means we’re together.


First Kiss (a story in verse)

[Note: This story is a work of fiction.]

The first time I kissed a girl

I was in the tenth grade

We were at a party and a

Bunch of us were playing


Spin the bottle. Even though

More than half of the people

In the circle were female, it was

Rare that one of us landed on


Another person with boobs.

(Most of them had a knack

For spinning the bottle so that

It landed on a cute boy). (Actually


They didn’t spin the bottle so

Much as they pointed it in the

Direction of the person they

Wanted to kiss). Jason with the


Abs on the swim team got kissed

By five girls that night. Lexi

Rolled her eyes and said they were

Ruining the fun of the game. She


Spun the empty beer bottle for real,

Letting it spin in a blur like the hands

Of a clock on acid. It slowed, losing

Momentum as it found friction with


The tan carpet. It came to a stop, its

Cap-less opening pointing in my

Direction like the muzzle of a gun.

The boys hooted and one of the girls


Said she could spin again. Lexi laughed

And said it was no big deal, it was

Just a kiss. I barely had time to respond

When she scooted across the circle


On her knees and sat on her heels in

Front of me. She smiled at me for

A second and leaned toward me until

I could smell the shampoo from her hair


Her lips touched mine. She was soft and

Tasted like beer and cupcake frosting

Her hand rested on my shoulder and

I could feel the warmth through my short


Sleeve. Her lips lingered on mine and

My heart was pounding in my chest

I felt her breath on my cheek when she

Finally exhaled and I felt her lips curve


Into a smile before she broke away and

Landed back on her heels in a fit of

Giggles. I laughed, too, mostly out of

Nervousness. The feeling of her lips on


Mine lingered. I resisted the urge to bring

My fingers to the tingling sensation on

My mouth. In that moment, I felt self-

Conscious. Did she mind kissing me?


Did she think I was a good kisser? Did

She think I was pretty? I wanted to pull

Her back and kiss her again, longer,

Harder. I knew the boys had been whistling


And hooting, but in that moment, I

Didn’t even hear them. It was like I was

In my own world and all I wanted to

Know was what was going on in Lexi’s


Head. She gave me a light, playful

Punch on my arm, sending electricity

Through my body. “Don’t worry,” she

Said, “I didn’t feel anything.” I laughed


And said, “Yeah, don’t worry about it,

I didn’t feel anything either.” As soon

As the lie left my mouth I felt a lump

Rise in my throat and tears threatened


The well up in my eyes. I ordered myself

Not to cry. What was I so upset about?

Lexi was someone I went to school with

We were just friends, nothing more


Besides, like she said, it was just a kiss

One of the boys said something stupid

And Lexi threw a cupcake wrapper at

Him. Apparently it had been in her


Pocket the whole time. She smiled about

It and was playful the way she always

Was. She was never really mad at

Anyone. She took her place back


Across the circle and I wanted her to

Sit back next to me. I replayed the

Kiss in my mind and my hands

Were shaking, so I tried to forget


About it. I decided that when it

Was my turn to spin, I should make

The bottle land on Jason. All the girls

Liked him, so I figured I should too


He did help me pick up my books

In the hallway once. He was a good

Guy. I decided to focus on him

But when my turn came to spin,


I excused myself and went to the

Bathroom. The second I closed

The door I started crying. I kept

Replaying over and over in my


Mind what Lexi had said to me

“Don’t worry. I didn’t feel anything.”

I felt something. I felt it for the

Rest of the party. I felt it every morning


When I saw her face in history class

I felt it when she started dating Tyler

Junior year. I felt it when she gave my

Shoulder a casual squeeze in the


Hallway and started talking about

Recipes or books or tennis. The

Party didn’t come up again until

Senior year, when she asked me if


I remembered the time we kissed

While playing spin the bottle

My palms started sweating and I

Told her I remembered. She said she’d


Almost forgotten until she was at the

Store the other day and saw the same

Kind of beer bottle we’d used to play

The game that night. She’d almost forgotten


When I’d spent more days than I care

To admit overanalyzing everything about

That night, from the way she touched

My shoulder to how long she lingered


When she kissed me. Days where I

Wondered in all my naivety if I really

Had a chance with her. She said of all

The girls she could have kissed at this


School, she’s glad it was me. I didn’t

Have a response to that and I was never

Sure of what to make of it. I dropped my

Pen and she picked it up. I took it from her


And in that moment, time stood still in

The way it probably should have the time

Jason picked my books up for me freshman

Year. She walked away to go to class,


Leaving behind the scent of her shampoo

Butterflies flittered in my stomach and I

Wished I could banish them forever

Jason asked me to prom, and I said


Yes. He brought me a corsage and drove

Me there in his brother’s old car. We

Took pictures and danced. During the

Slow song, I let him kiss me. It was


Soft and quick. He tasted like chocolate

Cake. I placed my hand on his face

And kissed him again, lingering there,

Waiting to feel something. He had good


Hair and blue eyes and all the girls wanted

To be with him and I was a girl and dammit

I wanted to feel something. But there

Was nothing. No spark, no desire. I pulled


Away and he lowered his hand on my

Waste, pulling me toward him a bit

Closer. That was the first time all night

That I didn’t want to be anywhere near


Him and I hated myself for it. He was a

Good guy and I felt like pushing him away

He was a good friend, but being anything

More than that just didn’t feel right. He stroked


The hair out of my face and I wanted to run

Away. The dancing stopped when Lexi and

Tyler were crowned Prom Queen and King

I watched them get crowned and they


Danced together. They were a perfect couple,

Even if I didn’t want to admit it. They

Really liked each other. After they dance, I

Told Jason that I wanted to go home


Early. He wanted to drive me, but I said

I’d take a cab. I wanted him to enjoy the rest

Of prom. I set him up with my friend

Chelsea, who didn’t have a date. He seemed


To feel awkward about dancing with someone

Else, but I knew they would have a good

Time together. She made him laugh after

Just a few minutes of talking, and I knew


It was okay for me to bow out. I thanked

Him for a great night. As I stood in the

Doorway and called a cab, Lexi made eye

Contact with me. She had been smiling and


Adjusting her crown while talking to Tyler

She’d held up one finger to him and started

Walking over to me, but I gestured for

Her to go back. She frowned and her shoulders


Drooped a bit. But she smiled again and waved.

I waved back and walked out the door

I decided I wouldn’t go home. I changed clothes

And had a cab take me to a local diner where


I treated myself to a hot fudge sundae while

I read a book that I’d brought in

Case I got bored at an after party. I

Couldn’t focus on it though, so I


Put it aside and ate my ice cream. When

I thought about going to prom as a

Freshman, I never imagined myself hiding

Out in a diner all by myself. I saw myself


Dancing and falling in love with a guy

Like Jason or even Tyler. Instead, I was

In love with a girl who tasted like beer

And cupcake frosting. Whose hair smelled


Like shampoo and whose touch sent

Electricity through my body. Who was

Always smiling and thoughtful and caring

Who wanted to make other people happy


And was smart but didn’t take life too

Seriously. She read books and was good

At history, was always on time and was

Terrible at whispering. She bit her nails


Was good at tennis. She never ate the

Crust from her pizza and she made

Home-made ice-cream. She liked disco

Music but didn’t really like country.


I was in love with Lexi, the girl who

Kissed me and didn’t feel anything.


#poetry, fiction, short stories, lgbt