The Kiss
by Jane Lang

There’s a river right by the edge of town.
We drove there around ten o’clock one
summer evening. The Cedar wound through
Renton, past the new high school stadium
and meandered towards Lake Washington. I
knew how I felt though too young to know
much of anything sexual. He an older man
college bound: tall, a body like an Adonis
black hair, sparkly eyes—chocolate-brown.
We rode in his ‘57 Chevy hardtop to the river
at the edge of town. I could hardly breathe.
Was he going to kiss me? What should I do?
How should I act?

The windows were down, nothing separated
front from back seats, a perfect silhouette.
Humid, sticky, my bangs wilted, yet a slight
cooling breeze came off the near-black water.
He put his arm round the back of my seat,
ran his fingertips up and down, either side of my
elbow and life changed forever. Restraint—the
word to describe his ardor. My heart so loud it
could have exploded. I wanted. Needed. Pleaded
mutely for the kiss and when it came, nothing
compared. My life irrevocably changed. He is
a memory though it brings a smile every time I
drive past the river right by the edge of town.

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