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Milestones: On Malia Obama’s First Kiss

The giggles of my youth

Moments of pointless banter, crushes, and notes passed during class

Left much to be desired in my burgeoning adolescence.

Thoughts of him rouged my cheeks.

I knew there was a transitional rite of passage awaiting me.

The corners of his mouth held a secret no one else could tell and I wanted to know it.

I’d heard of kisses riding the melodies of songs on the radio,

Sounding butterfly soft and intriguing,

Passionate exchanges proving climactic in made for television dramatic scenes.

Friends whispered of their firsts as prizes for winning co-ed party games

Mine came in the hallway between class bells

Among rows of lockers

Caught off-guard, one hand landing awkwardly on left cheek,

And other remaining in the hand used to snatch me

Away from silly things, momentarily…

And for that moment

Time stood still

I teetered between girlish giggles, knee socks, metal lunchboxes



Our faces one

I tasted, for the first time, lips that weren’t mine

Knowing why smiles hid behind them

Their skin