I regret

not kissing you at the train station

that night when I came to walk

you home after work.  Got there

just as you rounded the corner, with that

momentary vertigo

the sight of your beauty still provides.

It was like a movie but then

when I should’ve moved, dipped you slow-mo

in a kiss to make Bogart jealous

my feet missed their cue, frozen to the

sticky pavement.

In my ears

still echoed lonely footsteps

down the long alley towards home, and

along the bottom of my mind ran

the constant ticker tape of news blurbs:

beatings on the North Side, gay bashings across the country

I am not usually so susceptible to the

germs of fear passed through mother’s milk

and media, I am not so thin-skinned

that a kiss

would bruise me.  But that one night

I let blood fill my feet like lead, met you

instead with a smile

you could see through.