The first time a girl kissed me—
I wanted to write, the first time
I kissed a girl; I had already
written, the first time a boy
kissed me. The first time
a girl kissed me, we were
in my family’s living room,
on the new couch (not the one
Ryan Buckner threw up on). Later,
we made out through the entirety
of Snow Dogs, into the morning, while my siblings
slept in the same room. The first time
a boy kissed me we were drunk
and he’d already decided
he was going home with Jake. It was a pity kiss,
really, and far too quick, on the way
to the bathroom, in the art department
of our little Catholic college.
The first time I kiss you—I wonder
if I’ll ever kiss you—I wonder
if you’ll ever kiss me, I should say—I’ll be
in a state of wonderment. We
might be dancing; we make
such pretty things. We might be
watching an old Olsen twins movie or listening
to the Thompson Twins on cassette because we both know
the truth of tape. You might tie me up
with tape, later. Are you into that? I think
you might be; I think it might be
empowering for you, but when did all this get so
intellectualized? Is there a way for instinct and intellect
to coexist? I love your brain,
but what does your body want? I love your words
when you write them.
Is resistance to polyamory a learned behavior?
Is monogamy a preexisting condition? A way
of being, not a thing to be changed? I believe every
sexual orientation occurs naturally, but I’m not sure
it’s always intrinsic. If you touch me—if I love you—
my body will respond. What does it mean?
To be gay, you don’t have to like taking it
in the ass. For the record, I like taking it in the ass.
Tyler Friend is (a) an apricot enthusiast; (b) from Tennessee; (c) the author of Ampersonate; (d) avoiding choosing a preferred pronoun.