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Poem: Presents From Jim
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Presents From Jim

Nineteen sixty-nine. The autumn fair was in Athens.
I was sixteen. You had finished your senior year.
You threw well aimed darts, and loaded my arms
with cheap stuffed toys; soft treasures for my bed.

Arms and objections occupied, I leaned tight
while you held me from behind, whispering
unfamiliar syllables into my warming ear.
I remember your hands, and how I wanted

the force of them firm around my breasts;
fingertips exploring chilled hard nipples.
Old enough to want, too young to recognize
the scent you were leaving on my expectations.

You stood silhouetted against carnival lights;
Ferris wheel colors haloing your dark hair.
I grabbed my instamatic; snapped a hunk of you
as you left for California. And I am still here.

Shirley Alexander
2009

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