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When we were children
We played endless games of hot and cold.
You always headed in the
Right direction, so your fingers constantly graced
The stove of triumph. All hell broke loose as the fire you lit under me
Blazed inside and I realized that maybe
Boys have cooties but they also have brains.
I tried so hard, gave up each summer afternoon, and
All I found were the wrong things, left with only
the ice box to console me. And in the end…
Blind men still run toward pretty girls, because the name of the game
Is finding what you’re looking for. And that’s what’s hot.
But what happened to being cooler than ice cold? You always said
That even though you could see the hot tamales in the oven that didn’t
Mean they were done. It didn’t mean that they wouldn’t take their heat
For all they got and stay in there too long
And soak up all the hotness in the world and
Eventually end up getting burnt.
I didn’t always believe you. And I didn’t always know what you meant.
I still remember when I thought your hot would make my cold obsolete.
I still remember how you told me it wasn’t a big deal that I didn’t always know
What was on your mind, or what you wanted me to look for.
I can still feel the joy of never quite being able to solving your mysteries,
Following clues and running away from the world that turned our
Innocent merriment into a cruel game of hierarchal physicality.
Hot; tan, perfectly baked thighs.
Six pack abs.
Cold; Random sexy tan lines.
Six pack Coca Cola.
I think we both knew why I never won that game.
And yet I never felt frozen in pity; being a cold girl who still
Sought the solution to the perfect mystery, you could bet I wouldn’t
Settle for second best.
I lived for that sensation of ownership and blissful isolation
as we escaped in fields of clover and rye that you caught me in.
These were the places where aesthetics didn’t matter,
These were the times you and I drew crop circles in the dirt
With the walking sticks we thought we needed. Those were the secrets I told
Because I finally felt like it was okay to not know the way with you, and never before
Had I lived in a world where lips could not only say things but listen back.
And we held each other in a delicate balance of temperature.
It became the variable of our lives; where the thermometer stood was
Where we stood, and if it got too hot, I blamed it on you.
If it got too cold, you’d tell me you lost interest.
(But we never meant a word of it.)
Real friends don’t play games
Where sacred ties are gambled away like
The property for sale at the end of the boulevard.
Sometimes you’d lead me on aimless expeditions
And the minute I thought I lost the game
You’d turn around and tell me
That the girl who’d never failed to live
like a snowflake; unique, cold and consistently falling
Had finally landed on his heart; that sought after
Deal-breaker, game-winning object to be found.
The one thing that little miss ice box didn’t know caught fire
Long before she ever knew what to look for.