Step Whatever This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 23, 2012
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And a kiss is step one of seduction, she says.
I think she's wrong, I think she had me
with the glow of her skin with the window open,
and the way her black hair caught the light
like the feathers of a starling, bottle green and purple,
or the curve of her forearm against a half-written essay,
gathering smudges like a skin of ink,
telling stories to me and herself, cap between her teeth.

I think she had me when the side of her hand
nudged mine on the sidewalk, not slipping in but a test,
and when she lounged on my floor with all the popcorn,
and the sun from the open window made the whole room
glow orange peach, and her most of all,
or the way she looked when she dropped her eyes from me,
and then flicked them back up, teeth in her lower lip,
pretending to be shy because I really was.

Or that first step out into the rain,
when the sky was the color of the word Scheherazade,
and her eyes dropped to my mouth, but we didn't kiss,
because that's step one or two hundred, and we were on
step fifty – friends, people who sing together and carry
each other's voices in our throats, not only for a grade
but because we love the smooth honey glide of it in our ears.

And when we did reach step one or two hundred,
it was sizzling and electric and made us silly and half-drunk,
but it was a continuation, of step fifty and step seventeen,
and step one, the glow of skin in an open window,
because the first step is always just noticing
everything that's worth noticing about a person,
and things just follow on from there.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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LovelyPuffin said...
Oct. 29, 2013 at 11:57 am
So amazing! Words can't even describe. This is amazing. I love my best friend and reading this connected to me so well! Keep writing!!
Afanen This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm
Wow, thank you for telling me this! I really appreciate your lovely words :)
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