If My Hand Had To Be A Dead Frog

The first boy who held my hand
held it like an exhibit —
like an example —
like a science class diagram
of a dissected frog;
like he was afraid of getting it wrong,
of cutting too close,
of sweaty palms.
I thought it would’ve felt
more natural —
like if it was a dead frog —
if my hand had to be a dead frog —
then it was one who died by the water
with the cool grass against its back.
I thought it should’ve felt like that —
like life and death —
an unending circle
closing back around on itself.
Instead I gave him my body
like a blueprint;
when I see his wife smiling,
his hand in hers,
I think of swampy swan songs
and his sweat.
I think of regret.
The cost of letting someone hold you
only because there’s no one
else left.

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