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First Kiss

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Afterwards you had that drunk, drugged look
my daughter used to get, when she had let go
of my nipple, her mouth gone slack and her eyes   
turned vague and filmy, as though behind them   
the milk was rising up to fill her
whole head, that would loll on the small
white stalk of her neck so I would have to hold her   
closer, amazed at the sheer power
of satiety, which was nothing like the needing
to be fed, the wild flailing and crying until she fastened   
herself to me and made the seal tight
between us, and sucked, drawing the liquid down   
and out of my body; no, this was the crowning
moment, this giving of herself, knowing
she could show me how helpless
she was—that’s what I saw, that night when you   
pulled your mouth from mine and
leaned back against a chain-link fence,
in front of a burned-out church: a man
who was going to be that vulnerable,
that easy and impossible to hurt.

Kim Addonizio, “First Kiss” from What Is This Thing Called Love. Copyright © 2004 by Kim Addonizio. Reprinted with the permission of W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., www.nortonpoets.com.
Source: What Is This Thing Called Love (W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 2004)
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First Kiss

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