Repressed Impression

We were sixteen-year-olds,
nestled under a blanket
in the high-backed seat of a school bus
plowing home late from another city.
“Give me your hand,” she said,
and her rounded eyebrows should have been enough
for me to guess the shape of her intention.
But I didn’t.
So when she took my hand and pressed it onto her chest,
she probably imagined my surprise at her audacity,
my surprise, as I registered in the recess of my palm
the swell of her tender breast,
her egg of potential energy
hatching into a kinetic nipple,
a promise of extended flesh.
Perhaps, in her affected nonchalance,
she even imagined, correctly,
that although I held her body,
she held my mind
in an utterly unassailable prowess,
and she held, too, my surprise
at the weight and the heft
of that fact.
What might surprise her,
not me,
is that I would recall this impression
decades later
and attempt to express it in a poem,
to repress it, in a sense,
stressing, of course, that to repress
is to re-caress
her breast was small, and my hand was new.
But it was no small matter,
for me,
for her
to make her breast impression.

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