United by Metal by Diana Raab, PhD

At fifteen, my first boyfriend and I
took a chance: kissed on a park bench
under cannabis clouds, and the
jet exhaust near Kennedy airport.

Five minutes into it, and before
either of us were ready to commit,
our metal braces linked us most intimately

as a full moon ascended amidst
our raging adolescent hormones.
We giggled and twisted
into a variety of creative positions,

never seeing that event as a fateful
omen for spending our lives
together—rather laughed about who could have found us
in this hard metal embrace.

On the eve of our seventh-grade dance,
we walked barefoot in Cunningham Park
to kiss and hold each other again,
molded into a contorted position,
like those braces which linked us.

He then placed his blue Sergeant Pepper /jacket
onto my shoulders, and silver /ID bracelet
on my thin wrist.

Once in a while
when I see a man with a beautiful smile
seated on a park bench
or when I peruse social media,
I wonder where David might be now.

Diana Raab, PhD, is an award-winning memoirist, poet, blogger, speaker, and author of 13 books. Her new poetry chapbook is, An Imaginary Affair: Poems Whispered to Neruda (Finishing Line Press, 2022). She blogs for Psychology Today, Thrive Global, Sixty and Me, Good Men Project, and The Wisdom Daily. Visit: www.dianaraab.com.

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