Scars and Baggage

Once upon a time, I went on the best first date of my life. Here’s a poem about it.


She gave me butterflies immediately

And unceasingly

And she knew it.

She wasn’t afraid of my baggage;

Maybe her baggage went with mine.

She didn’t get the RENT reference,

But she thought we’d coordinate

Even if the patterns didn’t totally match,

So we each drove farther than we should have

On a work night.

It was the best first date of my life.

It was too bad they didn’t have karaoke,

We agreed.

We ate

We drank

We flirted

Without embarrassment

We revealed ourselves to each other

A stitch and a scar at a time,

With a crazy abandon

And it made sense to us


To just jump on in

With eyes wide open!

With both feet!

No lifeguard,

No floatation device,

Just a deep breath

And a plunge

Into the deep end

Of that sea of broken hearts

And maybe-empty promises

And the faint possibility of love,

Of love,

And safety.


Not drowning

Because this is what

Meant For Each Other

Feels like


I kissed her and I knew.

I knew what it was like

To need to touch

And feel

As much of someone

As I possibly could.

Suddenly there was nothing


For me

Anywhere else,

With anyone else.

She kissed me, and I knew.

I knew how it felt

To melt

And to burn

And to need

To be known as thoroughly as she could know me.

Her teeth scraped my neck,

And all those love songs made sense.

My fingers found her skin,

And I understood how

A lover could commit a crime

Of passion.

It hurt when

She touched a sore spot, but

I wasn’t afraid anymore.

I couldn’t think of how to ask her

To baptize me in her fire,

But while I struggled with the words,

She said it was getting late,

And I needed to go home.

I hurt so much


That I couldn’t hear anything

Over the sound

Of my startled heart.

I left the car radio off

And I drove home.

I express myself better in writing

Than I do speaking,

And I couldn’t find a way to say

That I was sorry

For my scars

But also

Fuck you

For being mad

That it still hurts


I wanted to ask her

If she’d maybe


Letting me explain

Why I can’t promise

To follow her to Arizona

Or drive the traditional

Second Date Transportation.

She didn’t want to hear it.

She hung up.