We Liked to Kiss Boys 

for Cindy  1954-2018 

by Martha Hayes


The summer after seventh grade,

we spun the bottle in our friend’s

living room while her mother typed

all day and her snooping little sisters 

knew better than to tell.


Some boys knew how to make

us as dizzy as the cigarettes 

we had the good fortune

to steal from our unsuspecting 

parents. Others slobbered 

all over our faces or forgot 

to close their eyes to hide, 

like we did when we heard 

the car door slam and knew 

the game was over.


Freshman year 

of high school,

the boy was older, 

a senior when he 

took us one at a time,

firmly leaned our willing 

backs against the locker, 

pressed first his lips, 

then his deft tongue into 

our stunned mouths, 

weakening our knees 

and racing our hearts.


No surprise, in time

he went to work 

for the local electric

company, controlling

the power surges 

charging through the fragile

wires that ran above us all.