4 Times I Wanted To Kiss Him, But Didn’t

By: Sabrina Almeida

  1. We were sitting by the trade and drop library
    off of Main Street, the books long forgotten.
    Under the stretching light of sunset,
    the stained wood bench shone in
    100 complexities of earth and topaz,
    singing with the warmth of beginnings 
    that I could always find in your eyes.
    Brown is a colour for the living,
                 for the sun.
    Through the rip in the knee of your jeans,
    a small patch of skin appeared
    pale and fragile on a body that otherwise 
    seemed unbreakable.
    I wanted to touch it, fingers itching.
    I wonder if your lips would taste the same, 
    if there were parts of you begging for daylight.

  2. Old cities show their age in the moonlight,
    buildings slouching against one another
    to listen for heartbeats.
    We had gotten off work and wanted to go
    bar-hopping, unconcerned by 
    tomorrow’s early start.
    Through empty avenues and ancient archways,
    city lights dripped in our hair as we flowed
    from pub to club, dancing
    along the cascading pavement.
    When we retreated back to our hotel,
    I took the time to really look at you,
    back flush against the elevator door,
    We were reeds blowing towards one another
    in the 3am breeze.
    I wish my body were my own
    so I could have swayed into you,
    traced tributaries through your hair.
    Your footsteps rippled as you said goodnight.
    Your body seemed to go on forever.

  3. I was worried about being late
    and you were worried 
    that your car wouldn’t start.
    Our feet were taking us in opposite directions.
    Amidst the January slush on the sidewalk,
    you pulled me against your chest
    and if I could have seen your face,
    I would have seen the storm clouds
    forming and disappearing
    as your lungs collapsed against mine.
    This is the only way I know you:
    in the empty howl of winter 
    falling apart around us,
    in the alcoved silence of Queen St at night.

  4. The street artists banged on bucket drums
    and stroked crying bass guitars
    for the congregation amassed before them.
    In that moment, as we danced in the road
    and searched for art stores in Kensington Market,
    I had faith in the life I stepped into.
    An artist’s curling flourish had painted
    concentric hearts in the intersection,
    circling us like waves, pushing us together.
    Everything about you looked warm
    and we both looked away, embarrassed.
    I collect these silences in the hope that
    one day, I will find your pockets
    filled with the same quiet,
    spaces patiently waiting for music
    that will make our first kiss
    that much sweeter.

Sabrina Almeida is a 22-year-old poet from Toronto, Ontario, where she recently graduated from the University of Toronto. Her poetry is featured in publications such as Acta Victoriana, Existere, and Wandering Autumn Magazine. When she isn’t writing poetry, you can find her perfecting her girl power playlist and searching the city for the best bakeries. You can also find her on Instagram (@sabrina.almeidapoetry).