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On My Fingers

by Lacey Smith

The first one was a collection
of new syllables and a symbol
of my glaring differences. He
was inches shorter than I.

The second was a collection
of new feelings reserved for an
older age. I was gaining inches
then. I kissed his cheek in the
coat pile during recess.

The third used to tell me things
in the hall so that I would believe
him. His friends used to laugh as
I walked by. I was such a joke.

The fourth was not used to talking
to girls. He generally couldn't get
past the notes we passed through
the walls.

The fifth was a joke I played on
myself. I'd always been too good with
make believe. I should have been more
involved in theatre than with him.

The sixth took years and still won't leave.
I'd spend months imagining his intonations:
his hows, his whys. I'd spend hundreds to
see him just once, to hear him tell me he
was confused. I'd spend another year trying
to patch the hole I'd stabbed into it. He
became a mere set of typos.

The seventh mistook me at first, though
more perhaps. He gave me a try out of
pity, we fumbled for something different
and took pictures of the good times
before he told me otherwise.

The eighth was entirely unexpected,
was all about business, and to this day
doesn't know exactly where I'm coming
from.

The ninth caused me a world of pain
but wouldn't admit it. He was too busy
with his own interests, too unready for
something not fabricated. I wasn't
animated enough.

The tenth was new and different. I spent
days remembering his skin, but our bodies worked
against us, we consummated years of
feelings but somehow it was smothered by
the promise of what is new and different

I am all out of fingers
to count on.

12/10/2004

Author's Note: A working piece...I have to make it better but figured Id post automatically.

Posted on 12/10/2004
Copyright © 2021 Lacey Smith

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