When they say Craigantlet Hill I smell crushed grass
where we lay together, hidden from the road below,
our bikes thrown down in a tangle.
You wore a musty greatcoat like a highwayman,
with brass buttons and moth holes;
I was in oyster satin evening gloves and a jellyfish pink ballgown
from Renee Meneelly, reeking of your mum’s ‘Je Reviens’,
I had a passing thought about the maths homework
I hadn’t done yet.
You said, ‘should we try kissing like they did in that Romeo and Juliet film?’
I said nothing because you had squashed your marshmallow lips against mine
and I bit my tongue,
I tasted blood and the bitterness of tayto cheese and onion,
your breath rattly as sycamore keys
We tried arms but they were stiff, so I just patted your back.
You took my hand and said, ‘do you feel anything’?
I said ‘no’ but inside I felt weird and decadent and guilty and giddy;
I wanted your coat so badly for my very own and black boots and a whip
and a tricorn hat and horse with a white blaze.
As we packed up, I wondered what it would be like to kiss a boy
in a greatcoat, perhaps with an earring and a gold tooth.
That time I rang you I casually happened to mention
‘what happened to all those old things’?
You said your mother threw them away the day after Craigantlet,
‘clothes just get dozed’ she said.
Grass stains. She couldn’t understand the grass stains.
I still think about the 36 buttons on that coat.