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Middle School Make-out Party 

(for my Chemical Brother)

The last time

We were together

Was at a Middle School

Make-out party


No one was drinking

Not many were high


Somebody’s parents were out that night

(not yours, not mine)

The light in the large living room

Was very low

But our bodies were even lower

Clasping and ‘twined ‘round each other

Spread across the floor,

Some of it carpeted,

Some of it not,

Some on the couch,

Some on the armchairs,


Under each other,

Open-mouthed French-kissing

At its finest,

Pausing to smile, whisper, giggle,

Come up for air


No one was drinking

Not many were high


Unpaired singles on the edges

In rooms nearby

Bottle-necking in the doorways

Sharing furtive glances

Who would be the next to join?


Some of the couples were already dating

Others began kissing that night

For the first time

Those on the sidelines

Friends of friends, all peers

Got down on the ground 

And started to snuggle

To spoon, to whisper, to kiss

Everyone’s doing it, 

Hop in, the water’s fine!


I swear you may have been 

Paired up

With a crush of mine

Yes, you were

And you were already on the floor

And I was so jealous of your stage presence

Your seeming comfort with girls

Natural as could be


Me only a recent kisser of note

You at this already since we first met 

A few years before

Before I had to move across town

When our friendship was just beginning

To take off

You had been confiding in me

Youthful conquests, not boastful at all

Minor rights-of-passage with girls our own age

Just some harmless innocent stuff

You were a boy of action

I was frozen in fear

A boy of inaction 

But listening to you closely

Watching intently

As I watched the girls in our class

Literally swoon at the sound of your name

I wanted your name

Would that be awkward?


When the girls said your name

It was breathless, heavy, sighing


Three years later at the make-out party

Had I not yet really

Kissed a girl before that night?

Or was it that my girlfriend and I

Were lip-locked but clearly on the outs?

I wanted to be with your girl that night,

She was my neighbor,

And if I couldn’t be with her

At least you were with her

And at least I could watch her

Just a few feet away

Though it wasn’t me

She kissed


Well this is the big time I thought


No one was drinking

Not many were high


No, that was not the first night

That I started kissing

My memory is so strong

Because on that night 

I proudly, rightfully belonged

And though I was jealous 

Of who you were with

I had finally found my groove

It had taken all those three years

For me to finally attempt 

The elusive French kiss

That I had been pining for


My girl and I took our place

Maybe I nodded hello 

As we stepped over you

To find room for our forms

Not too far away


I think that was the last time

We were together

At a Middle School make-out party


No one was drinking

Not many were high


Now connected all these years later

On facebook

Exchanging a few messages

Plumbing our depths

Admitting it hasn’t been easy at all

Nothing will be as easy as it was

To be kissing girls

At a Middle School make-out party


Hate you?

No, no, no

Far from that

The opposite of hate

I was so proud to finally 

Join you on the floor

Of the Middle School make-out party

We were always buds

We were always cool with each other

Our parents’ lives 

Didn’t conspire

But did work against us


While we now raise our families

I sometimes return to those days

To that living room

I never did say Thank You

For showing me the way forward

Until now

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