Saturday, December 26, 2009

First Boyfriend

By Sharon Olds

(for D.R.)

We would park on any quiet street,
gliding over to the curb as if by accident,
the houses dark, the families sealed into them,
we’d park away from the street-light, just the
fait waves of its amber grit
reached your car, you’d switch off the motor and
turn and reach for me, and I would
slide into your arms as if I had been born for it,
the ochre corduroy of your sports jacket
pressing the inside of my wrists,
making its patter of rivulets,
water rippling out like sound waves from a source.
Your front seat had an overpowering
make smell, as if the chrome had been
rubbed with jism, a sharp stale
delirious odor like the sour plated
taste of the patina on an old watch, the
fragrance of your sex polished till it shone in the night, the
jewel of Channing Street, of Benvenue Avenue, of
Panoramic, of Dwight Way, I
returned to you as if to the breast of my father,
grain of the beard on your umber cheeks,
delicate line of tartar on the edge of your teeth,
the odor of use, the stained brass
air in the car as if I had come
back to a pawnshop to claim what was mine—
and as your tongue went down my throat,
right down the central nerve of my body, the
gilt balls of the street-light gleamed like a
pawnbroker’s over your second-hand Chevy and
all the toasters popped up and
all the saxophones began to play
hot riffs of scat for the return to their rightful owners.

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