First Love

   

First Love

 By Jennifer Franklin

The boy beside me
is not you but he
is familiar in all

the important ways.
I pass through life
finding you over

and over again—
oppress you
with love. And every

surrogate?
Afflicted by my
kindness, they leave

me with my music.
I loved you before
I ever loved you.

 

About This Poem

“This poem was written on a napkin in Brandy’s Piano Bar in New York’s upper east side. Brandy’s is a remnant of old(er) New York where a solo featured pianist and a handful of bartenders take turns playing 80s ballads, Bob Dylan, and standards. We arrived, close to last call on a bitterly cold February night, after a new friend and I filled in on my brother’s Wednesday night trivia team at the Banshee Pub nearby. Just before close, two patrons asked if they could usurp the piano and mic for a three-song set. They were brilliant. Their set happened to be the nostalgia of my childhood jukebox, presented as spontaneous and ironic, but nonetheless sincere and therefore sad.”
Jennifer Franklin
 

Jennifer Franklin is the author of Looming (Elixir Press, 2015). She teaches at The Hudson Valley Writers Center and lives in New York City.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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