“My Second, First Kiss” By Lori Noto

After a boy shucked the virginity from my body
like guts from an oyster shell,
I became a slut, a whore, a tramp
stamp for my school to wear on its backside
as I loitered by shallow tides and waited
for someone else to come inside of me.

But all that changed when I had my second, first kiss
and filled the abyss of my girlishness with better things.

Experimentation as liberation was delayed elation
on lips that lifted me high like a Ferris wheel,
where what was once barely a half became a whole,

My second, first kiss was a resurrection.
When I rose from the dead, our bodies became a carnival:
the scent of her hair like salted caramel and my mouth,
sticky-sweet like cotton candy,
as I crossed an unusual heaven to get to her.

We were a pair of nautical nymphs, two naughty children
that played nice beneath dresses of satin.
My second, first kiss, my body double—
a perfect match: two breasts, just like mine.


Lori Noto is an amateur poet from the Southeastern Wisconsin area. Previously a disillusioned business major, Noto began pursuing an academic career in English Education at UW-Green Bay in 2016. Since she has garnered enough courage to share her writing, she has had five poems published in Sheepshead Review. Last spring, she was the winner of the Rising Phoenix Award for poetry.

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