There is no love like young love or teenage love.
Everything is still so new and completely fresh.
There is no feeling like the one you have
when you see a girl for the first time in a classroom
or as she passes you in the hallway.
She walks passed with her friends.
Her books are embraced
in her arms and pressed against her chests.
This is when the young man’s awareness
turns on the engine to lust machine.
At first, it is hard to pinpoint the accuracy of attraction.
Maybe she is different in some way than others.
Maybe it’s the shape of her body
or the sweet smell of her perfume.
It could be any of these things—her smile,
or the way she laughs. It could be the sound of her voice
or the way her lips curl up in the corners when she smiles.
I like to imagine you this way.
I like to think of how we would be
if we were teenagers together.
I would absolutely forgive the fashion tragedies
and the look of our previous decades
and imagine me exactly as I was.
I was a misfit in my own way
I was awkward, long-haired,
and searching for an answer
I wanted to fit someplace and be something
but I was too young
and too confused to understand
exactly what that was.
I want it all back.
I want to do it all over again with you.
I want the young teenage angst,
as well as the thrills
the crazy rebellion,
and the verge of perfect curiosity.
I want nothing to be different.
When I imagine you this way,
I want everything to be exactly as it was.
You would look as I dreamed—slightly punk,
slightly new-wave, but completely brave
and unafraid to look differently
or appear as you are.
This would be what I admired most about you.
I would admire your resistance to join
or coexist with a usual crowd.
Nothing about you could ever be average
Nothing abut you could ever be anything
short of extraordinary
I imagine you in a pair of fishnets, a short denim skirt,
and a pair of black Doc Martens boots.
I envision the shirt you wear has rips cut into the fabric,
which are held together
with a few silvery safety pins.
Your hair would be wild, but not wild like anyone else’s.
No. I imagine an introduction of color to your hair
perhaps a little blue, or maybe a few streaks of pink
to stand out in an otherwise blonde colored background.
I would love this . . .
Your eyes would be drawn up and dramatic
with an intense outline of eyeliner.
I can imagine you in red lipstick
and a fiery smile.
If I walked you to class or home after school,
I imagine you would have scribbled the names
of different bands you liked on the cover
of your blue, loose-leaf notebook.
And the band’s you favored
would range from soft sounds to the extreme.
They would range from new wave to more of the hardcore
and with this alone; this would be enough
to have you stand out in a crowd.
This alone would be enough to make me notice you,
which is precisely why I would imagine you this way.
You, sitting on a curb near the parking lot at school
and me, standing as I was,
maybe in a pair of bleached blue jeans
with rips in the knees, a t-shirt
maybe a denim jacket or a leather one
and standing in a pair of boots.
All the while, I would be trying hard to impress you.
Maybe . . . .
you would have scribbled my name on your notebook too.
My name would be written above yours
with a heart drawn around them
and beneath our names
was the word, “4-Eva.”
I wonder if it would have been this way.
I wonder if I had met you then,
would I be as I am now?
Or would I have been saved all those decades ago?
I wonder if I felt the sensation of your hand in mine;
I wonder if I would have ever let it go?
I think of you this way—you and me,
together in a time when feeling young
was an easy but frightening thing.
Feeling young was all that mattered.
There was so much ahead of us.
Nothing was old or tired.
Maybe if I had met you then—maybe if I had saw you,
or said hello . . .
maybe if I had taken notice of you
and how truly incredible you are
maybe I wouldn’t have had to wait decades
just to find out what love is.
There is a song I heard when I was young.
The song comes from a band known as,
“The Dead Milkmen”
I think of you whenever I hear it.
I admit that I do not hear this song often,
but when I do,
I smile because I see it as a reminder
that fate truly exists.
“Punk rock girl, please look at me
Punk rock girl, what do you see?
Let’s travel round the world
Just you and me punk rock girl.”
Even before we met,
these are the words that always
reminded me of you . . .