Like the squeal of the child echoing between the streets,
my infatuation is trapped between inception and its constraint.
A ‘liking’ cannot escape so quickly–
A fondness needs fostering.
I hold a bit in, tie it to my heart with a bungee cord
before it expresses itself,
as love is wont to do,
in bursts unbidden.

Pesky liking–it has no manners
I used to explode into school on the first day
spouting “you’re my friend!”
“These are my crayons!” “Let’s play!!”
like that, so it is.
And horror took the shy kids
Lori and Lisa, twin-sisters, cried
shocked at my affection, so sure I was.
What to do with the brunt of it, I’m sure
caused them hiccup sobs.
I do that. I did that.
I did not reserve,
I blurted love
spattering those around me
and they dripped with it, mortified.

Nowadays I am more careful
I’ve learned the ways of slow-release
and it feels like the echo
of children
who like to hear their own cries on an empty street
knocking about in my chest
Bouncing against the base of my tongue
railing on my rib cage jail bars.

My foot bounce fidgeting
is also probably love
twittering
or the twitch of my eyelid, just the left one
very small.
No one notices but I feel it;
it reminds me to hold the space inside
for the echo.
Suppose one day
they’ll hear it and understand,
comprehend the sounds
and know that my loving has been there all along
behind and beneath a face that reads the critical page
of conversation and body language.

On a clear day like this in the hills
the sun is a lemon
squirting tangy light
and my love escapes in raw form–I can be approved–
alight against the stucco
bounding and bouncing.
I am the voices
not the buildings
in that morning air.
I have always been the sunshine.

-kerry e mckenna

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