He Took My Hand

by S. Pelham Flood

And restored me in ways the doctor can't.

At first, he was not remarkable.
His unkempt, two-week old beard,
scruff actually, patchy,
hid his full, cocky smile.

The over-worn, neon 'classic' Nikes
The wrinkled, purple, plaid shirt
half unbuttoned, patchy chest hair
swelling out. Perfumed by Old Spice.

Masculine and I could see lust
on his lips, whetting and wet,
over-balmed, slightly chafed,
tightly stretched over his laughs.

Annoying as they were loud
and confident, but honest, proud.
Like him, those laughs
made me uncomfortable.

Here was this man, free
of pretension, so self-assured
and his eyes bore into me
never left me, spoke to me,

measured me, paired up with smiles,
flattered me. Found nothing.
I was a clenched fist.
It was a first date, the small-talk date.

I wanted to drink and relax,
not perform, not be judged.

He walked me home; we were quiet.
I was searching for the right good-bye
I wanted to escape him and his disarming
attention, his unrequited lust, his control.

On my block, he took my hand, very subtle
He massaged at the scar tissue,
said something I can't remember
looked down at me with his azure eyes.

I pretended to focus on my hand,
recently reconstructed, healing, ugly.
I couldn't look in his eyes, I did not want him
to see vulnerable, see the fear

from mutilation. He kept massaging
and I lost my desire for good-bye.
To his chin I asked him in.
I opened my door, I opened myself.


Posted on 12/09/2009
Copyright © 2024 S. Pelham Flood

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