Wendy Wisner is the author of two books of poems, and her essays and poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Spoon River Review, Nashville Review, Minnesota Review, The Washington Post, Full Grown People, Brain, Child Magazine, and elsewhere. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons.

Wendy Wisner

First Love

I'd forgotten how I would sit hugging my knees, the bathroom sink leaking, the darkness in the pipes, and how I would listen to each drop fall, a bell slowly tolling — shadows from that winter striping my legs, jailing me in. I'd forgotten the hunger, which felt like sickness, which canceled hunger. I'd forgotten my hips, the way I'd lie in bed cradling them because for the first time, I could feel them, jutting. I'd forgotten how everyone seemed to know how to eat, how to breathe. I wrote page after page in the corner of my room, disintegrating but writing, my bony wrist puncturing the pages. I'd forgotten how he forgot me, how I forgot myself. But I remember how he kissed me one October morning, and the blood returned to my lips, my throat. I forgave him because he was only a child, too. But I don't remember — I can't remember how far I fell, how deep a hole.

My husband and I are high school sweethearts, and this poem was written about the winter that we were broken up (we got back together the next fall). I took the break up hard. Looking back, I see it as a sign of how strongly I felt about him. It's when I started writing poems. We've been together continuously for 23 years now.

Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
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