lived next door.
Does that still count?
He was Protestant.
I was Catholic.
We were a hundred sacraments apart.
The kiss was quick, a dry pinched peck.
I didn’t even have time to close my eyes
like the flawless girls in the Saturday movies
Later when I confessed
to my Catholic classmates
there was an audible gasp.
Startlingly, Mary Beth didn’t say:
You KISSED a boy!
She said, you kissed a PROTESANT
as if I had said
I kissed a blind goat
Jerry grew up and moved away,
I grew weary of Catholic boys, apostles,
Catechism. Catechism. Catechism.
Maybe that’s why I married a Hindu.
And the first time I kissed my husband-to-be
it was fierce and long and wet
and I thought
Gail Ghai is a graduate of the University of Alberta and a Fellow in Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals including The Malahat Review, Jama, the Yearbook of American Poetry and The Delhi-London Quarterly. Awards include a Pushcart Prize nomination and a Henry C. Frick scholarship for creative teaching. She is the author of three chapbooks of poetry as well as an art/writing poster entitled, “Painted Words. Ghai works as an ESL instructor for the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, FL and also serves as the moderator of the Ringling Poets in Sarasota, FL.