First Crush
by Laurie Kolp

August glistens, tan bodies
comingle, makeshift togas
fashion statements
barely clothing
sun-kissed skin.
I stand alone
chug warm beer
from plastic cup
because I know soon enough
a buzz will cure my angst.
Fake friends slip
through sliding doors
like blips into another realm
from patio to keg
a passage forbidden, age
forgotten for the night.
Voices jump off walls,
blending air an irksome hum.
I can’t seem to overcome
insecurity, lies my thoughts
tell me: I’m not good enough,
don’t fit in. Suddenly, I look
up, our eyes meet and I think
everything will be okay.

PHOTO: The author at 17.

NOTE FRM THE AUTHOR: This first crush led to a four-year relationship that was very unhealthy and nearly took my smile away.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laurie Kolp lives in Southeast Texas with her husband, three children, and two dogs. She has recently returned to teaching after a 14-year hiatus during which she published a full-length collection of poetry, Upon the Blue Couch (Winter Goose Publishing( and chapbook Hello, It’s Your Mother. Her poems have recently appeared in concis, Bracken, Up the Staircase, The Leveler, and PITH. Learn more at lauriekolp.com.