tuesday night on a street corner

tuesday night on a street corner By Alexa Hulse - Photo by Marika Campbell-Blue

i don’t think she knows,
but she is the one who taught me what love is.
it was tuesday night
on a street corner
and we were a sleepy kind of silly,
which is the best way to be
when you’re young and just beginning.
the winter air flushed her cheeks with merlot hues
and i had never seen anything quite as beautiful.

she took my hands and put them in the pockets of her pea coat,
traced her lavender fingernails along the creases in my palm,
found valleys and mountains within me that i had never taken the time to explore.
i know she is made up of the same elements as me,
but her touch turned my stomach into an elementary school science fair project,
a volcano made at the kitchen table out of clay and vinegar and baking soda,
only one chemical reaction away from bubbling over.

it took everything in me to work up the courage to kiss her.
as we stood on the corner of street
that was familiar to her and foreign to me
i finally pressed my lips to hers.
i tasted clementines and tobacco and warmth,
no overpriced lip balm or pastry from the coffee house around the corner could ever be as sweet.
that kiss made me want to paint again.
i wanted to capture the gap that glowed in the middle of her crescent moon smile
and the way her eyes creased when i gave her a copy of my favorite book.
i wanted to use the brushes i had just gotten for hanukkah and my best oil paints:
pink for me,
purple for her,
the whole color palette for both of us.

rainbows dripped from her lips when she told me she loved me
and i had never seen anything quite as beautiful.

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Alexa Hulse is a member of the class of 2020 from Marvin Ridge High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. She attends Hollins University and is majoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She is currently interning for Lilith Magazine. You can find more of her work @futureghostpoems on Instagram.
Accompanying photo: “Absence” by Marika Campbell-Blue