Editor’s note: Just in time for National Poetry Month, local poet and collage artist Patrice Vecchione has released a new collection of poems, entitled “The Knot Untied.” Vecchione is the author of “Writing and the Spiritual Life: Finding Your Voice by Looking Within” and “Territory of Wind.” She’s also the editor of many anthologies, including “Truth and Lies,” “The Body Eclectic” and “Revenge and Forgiveness.” She teaches both collage and creative writing workshops at community centers, universities, libraries and at Esalen Institute in Big Sur. She will read from “The Knot Untied” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 11 at the Watsonville Public Library.
The first time you kissed me,
not the hello kiss that for weeks barely
grazed my cheek, not the goodnight kiss
you whispered to my forehead
on your way out the door,
but the one I had to take into my own hands,
the kiss I needed to have.
When, on our walk through the forest,
I stopped, unlaced my boots and stripped,
startling you, slipped into the cold springs,
and shivering, looked up expectantly,
you relinquished your jacket
and all else, plunged into the cold water
and kissed me.
Excited to meet, our mouths opened,
tongues traded secrets.
You tasted of wood smoke and honey.
You tasted of my future,
and I liked that.
Even my feet did.
They would have to walk
AFTERNOON ON THE AVENUE
A man looked at us hard-eyed, a sinker.
You, black-jacketed, me in a short skirt,
walking and laughing. “What are you,”
he shouted, “a couple of dykes?”
Turning around to where he’d already passed us,
“Fuck you!” I yelled at his back,
slipping my hand into yours. Had I not been shaken,
I’d have had the word “Yes” ready.