, May 28, 2022

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First Kiss


  •   1 min read
First Kiss
Photo by Mia Harvey on Unsplash

Intro by Ted Kooser

Here’s a poem about some­thing that each of us receives, though only once. If you did­n’t get yours writ­ten into a poem, you’ve got it put away some­where. Wyatt Town­ley lives in Kansas, and ​“First Kiss” is from her new book, Rewrit­ing the Body, from Stephen F. Austin State Uni­ver­si­ty Press.


By Wyatt Townley

Here you are forty years
later in a white coat
examining my ears.

All I can think
is how your tongue once
turned in the tunnel

you're peering into.  The
fault is not in my ears,
but between them!

No one can see that far.
But could we gaze back
through the years and dead stars

to the doorstep of my parents' house,
you bending down with your tall mouth
to make the softest landing on mine,

having thrown off my balance
so tenderly, can you explain,
good Doctor, how to regain it?


American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2018 by Wyatt Townley, "First Kiss," from Rewriting the Body, (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2018). Poem reprinted by permission of Wyatt Townley and the publisher.  Introduction copyright © 2022 by The Poetry Foundation.


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