portion of the artwork for Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz's poetry

The Night We Met
Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz

At the afterparty, you bee-lined right to me,
and I assumed that you were interested in Amanda,
that fluorescent light bulb of a girl, long and thin
and luminous, boys buzzing around her like gnats.

I remember thinking you were clever, buttering up
her geeky friend, the one wearing a dress with sneakers,
the one who kept wandering back to the free food,
the one chomping on her plastic cup full of ice.

You know: me. So I put my full support behind what
I thought was your project, dutifully introducing you
to Amanda again and again and again, waiting
the requisite two minutes, and then politely exiting

so you could work your magic alone. I remember
being frustrated you kept coming back to me, wondering,
Does this idiot think I am her pimp or something?
It never occurred to me, I swear, that anyone

would be interested in me, when there were so many
other straighforwardly beautiful options in the room:
girls pink and shiny from wine, their easy smiles,
their straight spines, their clean hair.

When you kissed me at the end of the night, a peck
really, it was enough to pull the whole scene in clarity.
I didnít know what to say, so I just left, your book
damp in my hand. But know this: you were the U

in my stutter and blush. That one kiss making
the empty O in my chest finally go, Ohhhh.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 31 | Winter 2011